The Sun is reaching nearly the same Declination

Forums General Discussion Flaring of synchronous satellites from Kelling Heath The Sun is reaching nearly the same Declination

Trevor Law

As discussed in the first post of this thread, this phenomenon of flaring up to mag 2, ascribed to specular reflection from geostationary satellites, almost certainly from their solar panels, was shown on Martin Lewis’ all-sky videos, recorded at Kelling Heath on 08-09, 09-10 and 10-11 October 2021, most spectacularly in the latter. Subsequent to this, he suggested I look through his previous all-sky videos to see if anything could be spotted. I drew a blank, even from ones whose dates were less than a fortnight away from those above.

The conjecture has to be that this phenomenon can only normally be seen, at least for the latitudes of Southern England, when  δ☉ = -7º ± 1º.  The Sun reaches -8º on March 1st and -6º during March 5th. It might therefore be interesting to keep an eye out for this in the next week or so. As it seems to centre roughly around the anti-solar R.A., though at a Dec of about -7º, that would put against the rather dim area near the borders of Leo, Hya and Sex, so, if it happens, it should be easy enough to spot. Perhaps an easier way of visualising it is at around the same altitude as Alphard but under Leo.

My guess is that, with the apparent declination of the geostationary orbit being slightly further South as seen from e.g. Scotland, it’s possible the phenomenon may already have started from  those latitudes.