Is this flashing object that I recorded a geostationary satellite? Included: a short video of footage and my amateur analyses

May 22, 2024
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Summary: I'm a new hobbyist seeking help in learning whether a flashing object I recorded is a geostationary satellite, and why (or why not). I used a low budget infrared video camera, without magnification. I'm including a link to a four-minute video of my "evidence" and amateur analyses, with video footage, Stellarium screenshots, and tabulated observations.

It seems it possibly (likely?) is a geostationary satellite. But I'd like to know with confidence, anticipating I may come across more of these in the future.

Here's the four minute video I created to describe everything:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnqbynIMPnw


And here's the overview:
o I recorded a night sky video on 5-17-2024 with no magnification using my inexpensive infrared camera
o I then carefully played back the video to identify any objects
o First flash is seen 49 seconds into video. This corresponds to 23:48:29 PDT (UTC -0700)
o Subsequent flashes seen at 11.6 seconds intervals or multiple thereof (e.g., we might expect an interval to be 23.2 seconds if a flash was missed)
o 44 flashes observed spanning 17 minutes (I tabulated the time of each flash)
o Flashes do not move with the apparent motion of stars
o Approximate RA/Dec of flashes (estimated using Stellarium): 15h31m23.94s/-6˚55'48.1"
o Camera location: 37.982435951498566, -122.09097897653982

Video camera:
o SIONYX Aurora "Night Vision" (400-1100 nm), 15 fps, 1280x720, 1x magnification
o This is a budget camera. In my experience it seems suitable for capturing night objects but not well-suited for detail.

I'm interested in any/all comments. And in particular I have these questions:
1. Is this a geostationary satellite? Why (or why not)?
2. If yes:
a. Is it common that one can spot a geosynchronous satellite without magnification? (It's surprising to me that a high altitude satellite could be seen this way, but then I don't really know.)
b. Have you ever recorded a geosynchronous satellite on video?
c. Do you know of any publicly available videos of an actual geosynchronous satellite that I could view?
3. If no, can you think of any likely candidates for what it could be?

About me: I'm a retired engineer doing this as a new hobby (the wife is happy to have me outside the house more lol). I'm pretty new to this so I have much to learn. I'm several days into just setting up my camera in the backyard and pressing "record" to see what I observe. :)

For those who might be interested, here is a link to the untouched original video of the flashing object:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teyg6_IhFHc


Thank you again.
 
There are at least 3 stars in this movie that are fading away every so often and then coming back in synch. The two bright stars don't show it. I suspect your camera is cycling somehow. It might be a cycling voltage regulator. There is nothing in the sky that could do this.
 
May 22, 2024
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There are at least 3 stars in this movie that are fading away every so often and then coming back in synch. The two bright stars don't show it. I suspect your camera is cycling somehow. It might be a cycling voltage regulator. There is nothing in the sky that could do this.
Thank you for this. And for the reminder that a camera (and mine is a low-budget one), can introduce artifacts into the image. However I'm pretty sure that the camera is not the culprit in this case. I say that only because of personal experience gained with this camera and how it reproduces what it sees. So I feel fairly confident the flashes themselves are from a"real" phenomenon, and not a byproduct of the camera. I'll provide an update though if I discover otherwise. Again thank you.
 
In order to see the geosynchronous satellites you need a 4" diameter lens and a 3 minute time exposure on a tripod. Your video exposure times are too short by about a factor of roughly 10,000.
There is no natural phenomenon that would make three stars in an image blink on and off.
You have a cheap camera, it has its limitations.
 
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