A Tumbling Satellite

In this timelapse video a passing satellite is captured while orbiting the Earth, tumbling around it self and flashing in the sky. Many satellites do not have a constant brightness, they give off flashes which are often at regular times. As described by the Satellite Observers (satobs.org/tumble/tumbleintro.html) this flashing behavior is caused by the rotation of the satellite around its rotation axis. The satellite’s metallic surfaces act as mirrors for the sun.

In this starry night of La Palma, Canary Islands, stars rise over the famous Isaac Newton Telescope in the observatory complex located on the top of the island. The V-shaped star configuration in this telephoto view is the head of constellation Taurus, the Bull, known as the Hyades star cluster. The bright star is Aldebaran, the Bull’s eye.

Video credit: Babak Tafreshi

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