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  Rocket Lab's 'The Humanity Star' satellite

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Author Topic:   Rocket Lab's 'The Humanity Star' satellite
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 38756
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-24-2018 11:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
Rocket Lab reveals 'The Humanity Star,' a 'disco ball' satellite shining from space

A commercial space company seeking to shine among the satellite launch industry has secretly sent its own "star" into orbit.

Rocket Lab on Wednesday (Jan. 24) revealed to the world that "The Humanity Star" is circling Earth and is expected to become the brightest object in the night sky. Covered in 65 highly-reflective panels, the satellite is rapidly spinning, reflecting the sun's light back onto the planet, much in the same way that a disco ball casts light onto a dance floor.

mikej
Member

Posts: 475
From: Germantown, WI USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 01-24-2018 05:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mikej   Click Here to Email mikej     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The website says that it will be overhead in my part of the world in only 948 hours, 5 minutes!

However, if my calculations are correct, that will be in the daylight.

denali414
Member

Posts: 161
From: Raleigh, NC USA
Registered: Aug 2017

posted 01-24-2018 05:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for denali414   Click Here to Email denali414     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is one big disco ball! Cue the Donna Summers. Get to see it in 1067 hours.

TRS
Member

Posts: 710
From: Wellington, New Zealand
Registered: Mar 2003

posted 01-25-2018 11:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for TRS   Click Here to Email TRS     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mixed reaction in New Zealand to the "disco ball":

Mike Dixon
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Posts: 1233
From: Kew, Victoria, Australia
Registered: May 2003

posted 01-26-2018 12:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike Dixon   Click Here to Email Mike Dixon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hope it's hit by debris.

oly
Member

Posts: 257
From: Perth, Western Australia
Registered: Apr 2015

posted 01-26-2018 05:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My personal thought on this is that it a cool idea for a company's first flight and if anyone gets a chance to look up and see it over the next nine months I hope they wonder what it is and do some research to find out more.

It is not the first time such an object has been deployed and it won't last long. The chance of someone witnessing it without seeking it out is low due to the fact they have to have the right conditions to see it.

Rocket Lab don't give an exact time to see it on their website. It is not like they deployed a huge billboard with advertising (it will happen one day) but rather they have put another bright star in the sky for a few months (it is way smaller than the ISS).

SpaceAholic
Member

Posts: 4091
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-26-2018 06:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by oly:
Rocket Lab don't give an exact time to see it on their website.
You may find the pass predictions generated by Heavens Above more useful... just make sure to update local position prior to searching dates.

denali414
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Posts: 161
From: Raleigh, NC USA
Registered: Aug 2017

posted 01-26-2018 06:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for denali414   Click Here to Email denali414     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I actually enjoy getting the e-mails from NASA on when the ISS is going to be overhead our house. First time amazed my neighbor when I told him there would be a UFO at 7:02 p.m. tonight over his house and he and his kids looked up and were shocked to see the light going across the sky at 7:02.

It actually got one of his kid's very interested in astronomy and science from that. So there is a benefit in my opinion for even this kind of goofy stuff turning people to astronomy and science.

Panther494
Member

Posts: 223
From: London UK
Registered: Jan 2013

posted 01-26-2018 07:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Panther494   Click Here to Email Panther494     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not sure how I feel about this. We have the ISS providing a wonderful, inspirational view above us already. Occupied and built by many nations. Truly awesome. This ball just appears as junk I'm afraid.

oly
Member

Posts: 257
From: Perth, Western Australia
Registered: Apr 2015

posted 01-26-2018 08:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SpaceAholic:
...predictions generated by Heavens Above
I did not realize that Heavens Above had included the Humanity Star to their site. Thank you.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38756
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-27-2018 05:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Astrofarmer Imaging NZ video
Not the best conditions for observing it, but this is it. It will not really be visible or bright until mid February.

I just sat fixed cam and waited. Recorded this morning at 01:06 am NZT, Sat, 27 Jan 2018. Moonlight and cloud made it hard. Then I lost it in Earth's shadow. Observing on a clear dark night will be a blast with it's disco ball display. 180mm @f2.8 in aps-c mode (260mm equivalent) A7s.

All times are CT (US)

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