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View of ANIK satellites in orbit - glinting

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Oct 24th, 2013 at 12:11pm  
Telesat Canada has three ANIK satellites in orbit around 107.3 deg West longitude.

The 3 satellites are geostationary and are kept in a small constellation to avoid collision, as they each move about a small amount each day.

The satellites are visible from the ground with a good fixed camera as tiny spots of light, while the stars drift past sideways, leaving streaks of light, during each camera time exposure (typically 10 sec to several minutes).
 
Occasionally the angle of the sun, the solar arrays and the observer camera location line up so that the suns light directly reflects off the solar panels direct to the camera. When this happens the image brightens up or glints.



This video, on a clear night sky, is made by joining together multiple camera exposures, and shows the three satellites slowly moving in their cluster, with many stars passing behind the satellite, and an instance of the brightening glint when the suns light reflects well from a solar array.

Enjoy. Click the full screen option in the bottom right corner of the video to get the best effect and turn the sound up !

Best regards, Eric.
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