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Country Discussion Topics
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Stargazing
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Denise    Posted 08-18-2001 at 18:04:00       [Reply]  [Send Email]
just wondering if anyone else has noticed all the 'satellites' that are going over non-stop these days. Never like that when I was a kid.


Bob    Posted 08-20-2001 at 18:40:20       [Reply]  [No Email]
Check out this link!


IHank    Posted 08-20-2001 at 10:28:53       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Denise- Were you outside skinny dipping in a hot tub back then? I'll bet if you put up a canopy over your hot tub the UFO traffic will diminish. Big grin, IHank


Denise    Posted 08-20-2001 at 15:21:21       [Reply]  [Send Email]
LOL - you are right on target. As a child I was not allowed to play outside after dark, then as a teen I guess I had better things to do than stargaze. Kids, house, and life kept me busy for the next 20+ and now that we have time to enjoy life we enjoy the simplest things the best.


big fred    Posted 08-20-2001 at 07:29:46       [Reply]  [No Email]
A few years back, there was a venture called Iridium which launched dozens of satellites to establish a worldwide satellite communications network. They went bankrupt, at least one of the satellites (a non-functioning one) has re-entered the atmosphere. They are in elliptical orbits, which causes them to get low enough to be visible more often. Then there is the constellations of spy satellites which have to be pretty low to get good pictures, and a few others in low orbit. You are probably seeing the Iridium satellites, though. Just be thankful that the Teledesic project isn't up there yet. It was going to be around 300 satellites. They are supposed to begin offering service in 2005, but I haven't heard any real news about them in the past few years, so maybe the Iridium experience is making them slow down and think about it.


Denise    Posted 08-20-2001 at 07:41:48       [Reply]  [Send Email]
interesting - thanks for the info.
What a difference from when we were kids - guess the kids today will take it as normal huh?


TomH    Posted 08-19-2001 at 17:04:19       [Reply]  [No Email]
I can remember seeing them occasionally years ago, no doubt there are a lot more now.

It also depends on time of day, you usually see them right after sunset when it's dark on the ground but the sunshine is still hitting them a hundred miles up.


Denise    Posted 08-19-2001 at 19:04:49       [Reply]  [Send Email]
We used to see the ocasional shooting star or meteors, but these are visible from one end of the sky to the other moving at a fixed pace, that's why I'm thinking satellites and space junk - has to be on a regular orbit. I wonder how long it takes a satellite to come full circle?


big fred    Posted 08-20-2001 at 07:13:10       [Reply]  [No Email]
Depends on the altitude. At low altitudes, it takes about 90 minutes. At geosynchronous altitude, around 20,000 miles out, it takes exactly one day, hence the name geosynchronous.


Denise    Posted 08-20-2001 at 07:29:41       [Reply]  [Send Email]
very interesting.
Do you know at what altitude the satellites are set into orbit? And what do you consider Low?


big fred    Posted 08-20-2001 at 09:53:52       [Reply]  [No Email]
Low earth orbit is generally from 200 to 500 miles up. Anything lower and atmospheric drag limits the lifespan of the satellite, causing it to de-orbit early or use a lot of fuel to maintain altitude. Something like an ICBM might achieve this altitude, but doesn't have the velocity required to orbit, so it re-enters the atmosphere and hopefully hits its target.

The International Space Station is at about 250 miles altitude.


phyllis    Posted 08-18-2001 at 18:19:37       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Maybe they are looking out for pollution...


Denise    Posted 08-18-2001 at 18:36:00       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I'm thinking it is all the space junk they have put up there along with all the crap they have 'discarded'


phyllis    Posted 08-18-2001 at 18:50:07       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Yeah, that could be. I think I've heard something not too long ago about some things falling down.


TomH    Posted 08-19-2001 at 17:08:01       [Reply]  [No Email]
I heard a good suggestion for testing Bush's missile defense system. Find out which satellite carries MTV and shoot it down.


Denise    Posted 08-19-2001 at 19:05:46       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hahahahaahahaaa - Somehow I don't think either of my sons would find that remark as humorous as I did!


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