Adam Block • May 05, 2017
Earth's ring system: This mosaic shows 46+ geostationary satellites in one image
Earth has something of a ring system—a human-made one, anyway. Geostationary satellites are carefully placed in orbits that are fairly narrowly defined along the Earth's sky-projected equator:
Simply take a picture of the sky along this line at night and you will find them. No tracking needed because their revolutionary periods around the Earth match the Earth's rotational period (so the stars will trail). This puts these satellites out there at around 26,200 miles from us.
The image is a 35 degree swath of sky. It is more of an educational kind of image rather than a pretty one, but I think it is interesting because it is accessible and yet not commonly thought about. I have labeled the majority of the critters in the image, though there are obviously others detected.
The images were captured from my backyard using a telephoto lens and a DSLR camera. It recreates, somewhat, an older film image created by Bill Livingston at Kitt Peak National Observatory.
Let's Explore More
Our time to take action for space is now! Give today to have your gift matched up to $75,000.Donate