User avatar
Bruce
Topic Author
Posts: 4934
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:46 am

Astronomy Question

Wed May 12, 2004 5:47 pm

In the evening hours when i look to the west sky there is one very bright star. Well, i dont know if its a planet, star, or maybe a stationary satellite.

The thing is, it never moves. Other planets and stars can change position in the sky even during the course of one night as the earth turns. But this one is always in the same exact spot, about 40 degrees (just a rough guess) above the horizon and it does not move during one evening, although i have noticed tonight it seemed a little higher than other nights. It is not visible until the sun sets.

BTW, i live in the southeastern USA. I dont know if this is visible anywhere else. I am thinking it may be a stationary satellite in a geosynchronous orbit. It is not the International space Station because I have seen that before, and it moves!

I was just curious about this. I never really noticed it before but its always there.

bruce
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
 
Guest

RE: Astronomy Question

Wed May 12, 2004 11:08 pm

One good way to know whether it's a planet or a star is to watch them for a moment. Stars' light is not continual, it flickers (I think that's the word in English), whereas planets reflect the sun's light, and therefore, "shine" continually.

I don't think it's a geostationary satellite, since those are at 36000 km altitude, unlike, for example, the ISS that sits at 330km. A satellite so far you can't see.

Definitely, it must be one of those spy satellites that the US government has put in orbit to control our lives! 9-p

Edit: P.S: I'm an amateur, so don't take what I say as 100% true.

[Edited 2004-05-12 16:09:07]
 
cannibalz3
Posts: 382
Joined: Mon May 21, 2001 2:10 pm

RE: Astronomy Question

Thu May 13, 2004 5:35 am

You sure it's not the moon?

There are some stars that, due to the motion of the Earth, never appear to move. Either they're so far away that there's no movement in relation or the Earth just spins so that the star will always be at the same plane.
It could also be a planet. You should ask at someplace that they'll really know, like the non-av forum.
I understand that it is possible for satellites to be seen from Earth, but that it's hard to do - they definately don't come out as bright stars.
 
User avatar
Bruce
Topic Author
Posts: 4934
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:46 am

RE: Astronomy Question

Fri May 14, 2004 11:31 am

Oh no, definitely not the moon. I can see the moon - this star is much smaller than the moon but bigger than any other star.
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
 
FredT
Posts: 2166
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2002 9:51 pm

RE: Astronomy Question

Fri May 14, 2004 6:36 pm

If it is not on the rotational axis of the Earth (i e the North Star) and stays put in the sky when the Earth rotates, it is geostationary. That leaves two options. It is either in geostationary orbit or fixed to the earth. Well, three options, it could be suspended in the atmosphere at one specific location.

Everything else would change position in the sky with the rotation of the planet.

Cheers,
Fred
I thought I was doing good trying to avoid those airport hotels... and look at me now.
 
Guest

RE: Astronomy Question

Fri May 14, 2004 8:02 pm

Well, maybe you should go to the http://www.badastronomy.com forum, they will definitely be better suited to help you out on this question.

FredT: yes, it could be fixed to the earth. Bruce, I don't mean this as bitch-question, but are you sure it's not an extremely far-away antenna with a light on top of it? That would explain why it doesn't move. And about a geostationary object, well, it ought to be HUGE for you to see it.
 
User avatar
Bruce
Topic Author
Posts: 4934
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:46 am

RE: Astronomy Question

Sun May 16, 2004 5:15 pm

hahaha, no its not an antenna!! There is no antenna that is as high as an aircraft fles!

bruce
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
 
QantasA332
Posts: 1473
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2003 5:47 pm

RE: Astronomy Question

Mon May 17, 2004 6:55 am

One good way to know whether it's a planet or a star is to watch them for a moment. Stars' light is not continual, it flickers (I think that's the word in English), whereas planets reflect the sun's light, and therefore, "shine" continually.

Not really. Both stars and planets 'flicker', and that is caused by their light passing through the earth's atmosphere as it makes its way to your eye. The source of the light plays no part...

Cheers,
QantasA332
 
Guest

RE: Astronomy Question

Mon May 17, 2004 7:02 am

Yeah, I know, I was just trying to put it simple but I didn't write it clearly, I admit. I had an entire 1 and a half hour lecture on that in Astronomy class back in high school, and unfortunately, I couldn't sleep thru it!! Big grin

Edit: Bruce, contact the tabloids! You must have spotted the Aurora then!  Big thumbs up No seriously, anyone have any idea of what it might be? It's ticked off my curiosity...

[Edited 2004-05-17 00:04:44]
 
QantasA332
Posts: 1473
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2003 5:47 pm

RE: Astronomy Question

Mon May 17, 2004 7:05 am

That's fine, I just wanted to clarify things...

Hasta luego,
QantasA332
 
Guest

RE: Astronomy Question

Mon May 17, 2004 7:10 am

We're all on the same side here, and thanks for that Qantas, I might have misled someone because of my laziness...  Nuts

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests