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  Spotting Sputnik 3 still orbiting in the 80's?

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Author Topic:   Spotting Sputnik 3 still orbiting in the 80's?
Josquin
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Posts: 3
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Registered: Jun 2011

posted 07-20-2011 06:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Josquin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Do you guys know of any satellite that looked similar to Sputnik 3 but was still flying in the early 80's?

I have an incredible story that happened to me back then... I was watching an almost full moon low on the horizon with my telescope with a magnification of 150x if I remember correctly when a truncated coned shaped with two "handles" silhouette passed between the moon and my narrowed field telescope! If I had blinked I wouldn't have seen it!

The shape was crisp, I remember it very well after all this years. I was very excited about it back then. The shape was familiar to me but I couldn't find where I saw it...

Yesterday I open a book about Russian spaceflight and there was a picture of Sputnik 3 – the exact coned shape I saw 30 years ago through my telescope, the memory of that event came back directly to me. I saw a satellite similar to Sputnik 3 but it can't be it as it burned in the atmosphere in 1960 or can it be it?

How could I've seen such a small object that distant that crisply? What are the chances that such a thing occurs? Pretty slim I guess... I know it seem unbelievable but I'd swear upon my life i saw it!

What do you guys think about that?

kyra
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Posts: 507
From: Louisville CO US
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 07-22-2011 03:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kyra   Click Here to Email kyra     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is a pretty neat set of circumstances to produce a quality sighting. The shape of Sputnik - 3 was part of a series of probes for physics launched in the 1960s, some of which explored high altitude orbits. They could have still been orbiting 20 years later. I will look around in the archives here.

Josquin
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Registered: Jun 2011

posted 07-22-2011 06:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Josquin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That would be great if you have more informations about those probes.

dtemple
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Posts: 605
From: Longview, Texas, USA
Registered: Apr 2000

posted 08-29-2011 10:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dtemple   Click Here to Email dtemple     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You can research what satellite you saw using the Heavens Above website. You can select a satellite by year or designation in their database. The satellite you saw would presumably have been designated as a Cosmos. However, I am not sure how you would pinpoint which one you saw, though I think you could narrow it down.

DonPMitchell
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Posts: 1
From: Redmond, WA, USA
Registered: Jun 2012

posted 06-15-2012 11:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DonPMitchell     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hard to say what it might have been, but definitely not Sputnik-3, which reentered the atmosphere in April, 1960. The early spuntiks were in pretty low orbits.

All times are CT (US)

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