Several Amateur Astronomers observed the sporadic flashes in the night sky the last couple of days. (January 2017). Greg Roberts (Cape Town, South Africa), international acclaimed satellite hunter identified the mysterious flashes as a failed communication satellite, Telkom 3.
Telkom 3 (Wiki information)
Telkom-3 is an Indonesian communications satellite which was lost due to a launch failure on 6 August 2012. It was built by ISS Reshetnev for Indonesian telecommunications provider PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia. It was based on the Ekspress-1000 bus and had 32 C band transponders and 16 Ku band transponders. It was due to be located in geosynchronous orbit at 118° east above the equator, Read more,,,
Some images by Hannes Pieterse, Bloemfontein, South Africa. 26th January 2017. Time: 21:27:46 - 21:31:56
Click on the images to enlarge!
The final image. The eight stable dots are Telkom 3 moving slowly below Sirius in then constellation Canis Major. 26th January 2017. Time: 21:27:46 - 21:31:56. Seven (7) Images were stacked in Startrails; No dark frame subtraction; Tweaked in Photoshop. Canon 40D with a Canon Timer Remote Controller TC-80N3, 17-55mm f2.8. 800 ISO; 30 sec exposures. Camera mounted on tripod; City light pollution, clouds and trees hampering the imaging process.
The red dots point to the primary flashes and the yellow arrows to the secondary flashes. Greg Roberts our satellite guru in South Africa reckons Telkom 3 is rotating, from there the secondary flashes.
Do some homework before you set up to take the photographs. Heavensat software.
Upload an image to Astrometry.net and identify the sky, stars, constellations etc. to confirm the satellite's position in the sky.
The satellites still very close to each other on this chart (marked in red). They will eventually spread out like the other Iridium satellites.
Chart for Bloemfontein tonight 20:30 (25 January 2017)
The latest Iridium satellites should be visible tonight. Use binoculars. About Magnitude 5 - 7.
Iridium Announces Successful First Launch of Iridium NEXT Satellites
MCLEAN, Va., Jan. 14, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:IRDM)
announced today the successful launch of its first ten Iridium NEXT
satellites. The satellites were delivered into low-Earth orbit
approximately one hour after the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from
Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 9:54:39 a.m. PST. Iridium
NEXT is the company’s next-generation satellite constellation, replacing
and enhancing its existing network of low-Earth orbit satellites
spanning the entire globe – the largest commercial satellite
constellation in space.
A 12-page wall calendar with a mix of astrophotos and rarely-seen South
African historical images, for 2017. In support of the Centre for
Astronomical Heritage NPC. Just in time for the holidays!
The 2017 wall calendar is in support of a
newly-formed non-profit organization, the Centre for Astronomical
Heritage. The Centre's mission is to protect South Africa's astronomical
heritage, something which most of us are interested in and
The calendars are A3 sized, glossy, full-colour and gorgeous, and
showcase a mix of the latest South African astrophotos and rarely seen
The friendly Johan Brink (Director: Finances) of the Centre has kindly
offered to manage the orders, packaging, and shipment of the 2017
A calendar costs only R 120, to which you add whatever postage method
you'd prefer (e.g. Poskantoor, PostNet, courier...). Like in previous
years, bulk orders are possible (to reduce postage). Please discuss the
options with Johan.
Only 150 have been produced, so please place your order soonest.
Marseille, France- Last night's supermoon was the
biggest we'll see until 2034. Appearing 14% larger and 30% brighter than
usual, the stunning spectacle was a sight to behold in many countries
across the globe. According to NASA, the full moon of November 14 was not only the closest of 2016, but the closest moon to date in the 21st century. The New York Times reports
that on an average day, the moon is about 238,900 miles away from
Earth, and on Sunday and Monday, it was about 221,524 miles away. Read more...
Source : Heavy
A confirmation spectrum of TCP J18102829-2729590,
a galactic nova in Sagittarius. The target, setting rapidly in the
west, was imaged using the Alpy 600 under challenging conditions,
providing confirmation as a classical nova in the optically thick stage.
The resulting ATel (kindly prepared by Steve Shore, University of Pisa)
can be found here. Additional spectra at both high and low resolution have been acquired and made available via the ARAS spectral database.
In Bloemfontein South Africa it was clearly visible with a 20 X 80 Celestron Skymaster binocular in the Western sky. Guesstimate magnitude when compared to stars close by, about magnitude 8.
Sky Quality meter reading: 18.94 (26°C) (Brightness of the night sky in magnitudes per square arcsecond)