February 25, 2002

The animation below shows the passage of the Spanish satellite MINISAT-01. The satellite can be seen as a dim "dot" moving roughly left to right in the top half of the image. The large white objects are clouds illuminated by city lights, the thin white objects at the right edge are tree limbs. The satellite passes behind the second limb from the top at the very end of the animation.

The image consists of 25 exposures taken at approximately 1/10th second intervals. Each frame is actually the average of three video frames recorded at 30 frames per second. The motion of the satellite appears jumpy because the video capture card used could not quite keep up with the data so some frames were lost.

MINISAT-01 (618,210 Bytes)

The animation has been cropped to reduce its size. The satellite was behind clouds in the rest of the image anyway. Below is an image showing the full video field. This image is the average of 170 frames so many more stars are visible. These frames were taken about 3 minutes before the satellite pass so of course the sky was clear. The only purpose of including this frame is to enable comparison with the start chart farther down which came from the Heaven's-Above web site. The approximate region covered by the full-frame video is shown by the dashed box.

Video field of view(17,273 Bytes)

Star chart(14,873 Bytes)

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