Satellites

I imaged artificial satellites during the years 1997-2001. I intensively collabored with Bruno Tilgner a french satellite enthousiast. The asteroid (21650) Tilgner I discovered in Gnosca is devoted to him.

The january 10 1998 I imaged the seven ASTRA geostationary satellites with the C8 telescope. The animation of their movement is here. I produced also a still image that was published in the may issue of 1998 of Sky and Telescope

In 1998, from february 3 to 21, a prolonged number of clear nights allowed me to capture the movement of the ASTRA satellites. These images are here and here. Bruno Tilgner and me wrote an article in Sterne und Weltraum magazine reporting our observations on these interesting objects.

The april 8 2000 from Gnosca I captured the image of the satellite XMM-Newton. It was the first sighting from an european observatory.

The february 26 2001 I tried to capture all the geostationary satellites above the sky of Gnosca. The image was done with the Baker-Schmidt camera.

Other images showing the beauty of the traces of these objects are in my image gallery.

The Gravity Probe B satellite is doing a fascinating and deep interesting physics experiment on the general theory of Einstein. The satellite, launched the april 20 2004, transits periodically above the Gnosca sky. Some pictures showing the trace of the satellite are visible here and here. In the July issue of Sky and Telescope magazine was published the picture of GP-B taken by me.

I imaged the Rosetta probe of ESA during his approach to the Earth the march 2 2005. This movie shows this flyby.

The satellite Giove-A, first exponent of the european fleet for the developing of the GPS system was captured above Gnosca the january 8 2006. This picture shows the faint trace of the satellite at the distance of 23’000km.

The WMAP satellite (Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe) lies in the lagrangian L2 point of the Sun-Earth system, just in the opposite direction of the sun. I imaged the satellite the october 26 2006 on a time interval of 2.2h. The image is here.

My all-sky camera currently records several satellite flashes. In 2009 the camera recorded several hundreds of flashes. These flashes are brilliant (above 0mag) and last only tenths of second. The following images show the IRIDIUM 33 DEB 33777 producing repeated flashes, separated only minutes apart.

IRIDIUM_33_DEB_23jun_sposetti