brianv » October 30th, 2017, 6:56 am wrote:
So despite there being a double-decker sized Heath Robinson contraption with array of reflective mirrors, flying around up there, I will never see it unless I first visit a website?
I'm not sure if you are actively trolling or wilfully ignorant to the extent I get the strong impression I'm trying to converse with someone who is afflicted with a severe intellectual disability (my condolences, btw). No offense, but I'll just decline any further discussion with you, brianv.
That is the interesting question. And as you say, we know it isn't a "space station" or satellite - because it's altitude is far too low. Even at 400km there is enough atmosphere to cause drag (and, helpfully, still enough atmosphere for rockets to work). Even official sources say satellites cannot orbit at such low altitudes because there is still atmosphere to cause drag.
This has been brought up previously in the thread, back in 2013, by Simon here:
simonshack » May 17th, 2013, 4:33 pm wrote:
I learned something interesting today as I was studying the ionosphere, Haarp and related matters...
So I wondered, where does the ionosphere start and when does it end? I decided to look up the most authoritative source I could think of: the official HAARP website. Of course, HAARP's stated mission is "to analyze the ionosphere and investigate the potential for developing ionospheric enhancement technology for radio communications and surveillance".
So here's what the official HAARP website
"The layer of the earth's atmosphere called the ionosphere begins approximately 30 miles above the surface and extends upward to approximately 620 miles."
Oh, good. So the ionosphere extends from 30miles to 620 miles - and satellites cannot orbit there because the air is still too thick
. But wait a minute: how then can the ISS orbit there? We all know that the ISS is supposed to orbit at an average altitude of 250miles, don't we?
Am I missing something here?
The exact altitude it is at is what is called the "F region" of the ionosphere. According to Wikedpedia:
The F region contains ionized gases at a height of around 150–800 km above sea level, placing it in the Earth’s thermosphere, a hot region in the upper atmosphere, and also in the heterosphere, where chemical composition varies with height. Generally speaking, the F region has the highest concentration of free electrons and ions anywhere in the atmosphere.
Unfortunately this didn't get much discussion when Simon originally brought it up and now at least one poster in the thread has regressed back to "there's nothing up there, all pics are fake" type arguments. This is not useful and makes the discussion appear foolish to people who have actually seen and taken photos of the thing. It also forever stalls real inquiries into the nature of the "ISS" thing and how we really do know it is not
an orbiting satellite.
Given that it's path information is accurate and it's viewable times are known many days in advance, its very hard for me to imagine that - among all the people who take the time to regularly track and document it with magnified telescopic views - no one would notice if it didn't look like what we're told it looks like. And it is equally hard for me to believe that every single person who submits images of the "ISS" to cloudynights.com and other astronomy forums is a hoaxster who no one among all rest of the stargazing enthusiasts ever call out as such.
So from that I conclude that it almost certainly does look like what is shown in the images taken by people on the ground. More importantly, I know of no close-up images that don't
show the same basic thing that all the other images show. If there were people posting close-up images of the "ISS" that looked nothing like the typical image (in ways not explainable by exposure settings and light conditions) of the "ISS", for example showing only a big dot with no angular shapes or showing it was a plane... THEN
I would consider that a genuine controversy and make a real effort to see it up close for myself and go through the bother of getting the telescope set up to try and accomplish this.
Given the available data and its observability, I've reached the conclusion that there is "something" there at that ~405km altitude and it has the same dimensions given for the "ISS". But it is not pressurized, not occupied, and is basically an empty shell that has no mechanical function beyond rotating the solar panels and generating upward thrust to keep itself aloft and subsequently passed off as a "space station" to the gullible public.
It can't be a NEO because it's altitude is too low to be in orbit. It has to expend fuel to avoid crashing to the ground The important takeaway from all this is the "ISS" is NOT
actually in orbit. It is constantly refueled and is constantly boosted up (evidenced by its altitude charts), so it is actually fighting against
gravity - so there is no weightlessness aboard the thing unless they let it plummet for a bit. But more importantly, such a contraption is an absolute deathtrap and could never survive being pressurized without rupturing in short order due to differential structural stresses during accelerations (not to mention being punctured by the occasional micrometeorite travelling at hundreds of km per second).
Very well, just to show that there are indeed plenty of different amateur pictures to find on cloudynights.com. Note that I cut these out of their original images and condensed them all into a single image so as not to unnecessarily clutter the thread). The streak at the bottom is an example of a 30 second exposure taken with a normal camera.
And of course there are the two Simon posted earlier in this thread: