View Full Version : Wha???...Satellites flying formation?????

2003-Aug-03, 08:19 AM
On August 3rd near Dallas TX at around midnight, my wife and I were lying in this field looking for shooting stars and satellites. We saw something a bit odd. Rather than seeing just one satellite, we saw three, forming a perfect isosceles triangle and moving at the exact same speed and in the exact same direction.

The distances between each satellite were too far to be a plane. If i was to hold my arm straight out, the long segments of the triangle would have been about the length of my thumb, with the short segment being about as long as my thumb up to the first joint. The satellites flew in formation, going north. It was very, very strange. I've always enjoyed spotting satellites in the night sky, but I've never seen anything like this.

Are there some satellites that fly in groups like this? If so, which ones and why?

Or....did i just see a formation of aurora pilots taking their aircraft out for a spin?

2003-Aug-03, 03:25 PM
A formation of planes is probably the most likely answer. I think there are a few satellite formations. One is Cluster, but the distance between them varies quite a bit, so the chances they were all flying together is pretty low.

http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/area/inde...x.cfm?fareaid=8 (http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/area/index.cfm?fareaid=8)

Juan D. Rodriguez
2003-Aug-08, 02:31 PM
I agree. Some russian Cosmos satellites were -and are- launched at the same time (by the same rocket), so when you look at the sky sometimes you can see them as satellite formations. Some years ago I learnt how to visually track satellites (just to understand the different orbits, when you can see them, etc), using some software and another stuff, and I have seem sometimes three or even four forming a straight line...