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Any clues to this?

  • dmcdona
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Any clues to this? was created by dmcdona

Folks - just imaged M51 to get the recent SN. When I looked at the image however, I noticed that I imaged another moving object - probably a fast-moving asteroid. But on closer inspection of the image, it seems there are two objects moving parallel to each other...

The object to the right is quite bright, but look closely just to the left for the second trail.

SNPro doesn't have this kind of detail so I can't identify the object(s)

So, firstly can anyone see TWO objects and secondly, any ideas?

I have the originals if anyone wants them.

Image details:

C8 with 6.3 reducer
Meade DSI
Image enhancement with Photoshop
Image start time: 22:43 UT
Image end time: 22:51 UT

Total 9 images at 60 seconds each


17 years 6 months ago #13604

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Replied by voyager on topic Re: Any clues to this?

probably a constelation of satelites.
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17 years 6 months ago #13605

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Replied by shanemcd on topic Re: Any clues to this?

I zoomed in using PSP I can see an object at the very very bottom of the image but the parallel paths in the image don't match this object, but I can see both trails.

However, I don't think the trails are 100% parallel.

Very confusing ! :?:
17 years 6 months ago #13606

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Replied by shanemcd on topic Re: Any clues to this?

Yes, could very well be 2 satelites in a similar but not 100% exact orbit.
17 years 6 months ago #13607

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  • DaveGrennan
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Replied by DaveGrennan on topic Re: Any clues to this?

Dave,

Thats fascinating. I just checked SKymap Pro and there are no recorded asteroids at that position. Considering the amount it moved in that short space of time it would have to be very close and moving very rapidly.

Dave I dont wanna get you too excited but I think you should consider contacting someone like Brian Marsden at the IAU. My suspicion, and I say that most reservedly Is that this may well be an asteroid. Perhaps the second parallel *could* possibly be a fragment of the brighter one. I'm just speculating but if a previously unknown asteroid collided with something and split, both components thrown into a new trajectory. This may well be what you recorded.

I'll PM you with some e-mail addys.

Fingers crossed!
Regards and Clear Skies,

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17 years 6 months ago #13608

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Replied by DaveGrennan on topic Re: Any clues to this?

I dont beleive these are satellites because they are moving way too slowly, only about 2.5 arcminutes in the entire exposure.
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17 years 6 months ago #13609

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Replied by dave_lillis on topic Re: Any clues to this?

I agree with Dave G on that, I dont think these are artificial satellites unless they are way out in very high earth orbit, much more probible is that they are asteroids.
They look very faint, any guesses as to the magnitudes?

One thing I do not understand is that you mention that its 6 stacked expopsures, there seems to be 6 dots in the brightest trail, and only 5 below it, so one dot is missing ???
I can make out that there might be 3 objects here, a fainter stream of dots is to the lower left.

I'm also confused by the times you mention, is each of the 9 frame 60 seconds each, or do they total 60 seconds?? what are the time gaps between each frame?

This is a remarkable image Dave. :shock:
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17 years 6 months ago #13611

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Replied by DaveGrennan on topic Re: Any clues to this?

Yes I can see three distinct objects too.

I've cropped and enlarged your image and circled where I see the three.

Regards and Clear Skies,

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17 years 6 months ago #13614

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  • dmcdona
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Replied by dmcdona on topic Re: Any clues to this?

I figured that with the movement being over a period of 881 seconds that the object(s) are moving too slowly to be satellites.

I've just posted as high a resolution image as I could to my own website (to avoid the bandwidth here). Take a look at:

www.astroshack.net/tempmain.php

Its a big file - just over 200K

Dave G - I emailed the original FTS file to those addresses - thanks.

The other thing that got me too was that this locations is way off the ecliptic. I know there are asteroids that are highly inclined but would this location be pretty unusual to find asteroids?

Anyway, thanks for the responses folks. You never know...

Cheers

Dave McD
17 years 6 months ago #13615

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Replied by dmcdona on topic Re: Any clues to this?

Dave L - not sure of the magnitudes to be honest but I'm sure a bit of detective work on the image would give a close value.

I checekd back through my DSI folder and there are 14 images in total. But the software has rejected 5 of them for 'poor' quality. Luckily, I had the software set to save all images regradless of their quality. The image posted to IFAS and on my website are the best 9 as determined by the software. Each image is a 60 second unguided exposure with probably a second or two between each one whilst the imager downloads the data before commencing the next image. The final image is 9 stacked images of 60 seconds each. With some more processing I might be able to put the other 5 rejected images in.

I have to say (both Dave's) that I didn't notice the third object. It may just be noise but if you squint, it may well be a third object!

Curiouser and curiouser....

Cheers for the input - I'll try and process these over the next day or two...

Dave McD
17 years 6 months ago #13616

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Replied by dmcdona on topic Re: Any clues to this?

Folks - I just took a look at all 14 images and blinked them. Well, gobsmacked isn't the word. There are definately two objects moving in parallel, slower than any man-made satellites I've ever seen.

The two objects are actually quite bright in the individual images and are more easily identifiable than in the composite (stacked) image.

As far as magnitudes go, I really don't know for sure. The 3 brighter stars to the right center of the image are about mag 14 as far as I can tell. But I've never imaged anything dimmer than about mag 16/16.5 with this setup.

The image below is a (poorly) aligned composite of the first image taken at 23:43 local time and the second image taken at 23:56. Each image was a 60 second exposure. So the objects seem to have travelled about 1 minute distance (in the image) in about 13 or 14 minutes.

This is a real puzzler for me....

17 years 6 months ago #13618

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Replied by dmcdona on topic Re: Any clues to this?

Folks - I just went through the images again and I now have a strong suspicion these are artefacts, probably in the CCD. The two points show up in the same location in each image - the DSI software confused me because it stacks 'on the fly' so the artefacts trail. But when you blink them, they are in exactly the same spot in each image. I checked my dark frames but I don’t see any hotspots. I also checked some other images I took tonight but they're hardly comparable anyhow.

I think I'll put this one down to experience... :oops:

Best excitement I've had in ages since the Toffees got into Europe though :wink:

Dave McD
17 years 6 months ago #13619

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Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic Re: Any clues to this?

Image start time: 22:43 UT
Image end time: 22:51 UT


Dave,
Firstly, ice image!
Secondly, considering the time you took this, and considering the area that the image of M51 would cover, I would rule out satellites. Their lines should be bolder, as there would still have been "daylight" for them to have made a much stronger impression. But this is just my own theory. Do you think it could be gremlins in your camera?

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17 years 6 months ago #13620

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Replied by stepryan on topic Re: Any clues to this?

Folks - I just went through the images again and I now have a strong suspicion these are artefacts, probably in the CCD. The two points show up in the same location in each image - the DSI software confused me because it stacks 'on the fly' so the artefacts trail. But when you blink them, they are in exactly the same spot in each image. I checked my dark frames but I don’t see any hotspots. I also checked some other images I took tonight but they're hardly comparable anyhow.

I think I'll put this one down to experience... :oops:

Best excitement I've had in ages since the Toffees got into Europe though :wink:

Dave McD



dave,
if you look at the zoomed in image of the 3 lines above i think that you might be right. unless my eyes are fooling me if you look closely at the right most and brigthest object there is a faint spot that appears to be rotating around the main object i think. if the software is doing self stacking it could be that they are rotating with the field of rotation. in the image, as for the toffees, getting excited once in a hundred years i'd have thought you'd be used to that now ;).
stephen.
17 years 6 months ago #13623

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