It’s not a bird, it’s not an airplane, it’s a double NOSS!


I observed this bright double satellite flare when observing noctilucent clouds in the night between 28th and 29th of July 2014 @ 22:51UT. I only had a Samyang 8mm fish-eye lens attached to my camera, but luckily I was at least able to photograph this phenomena! The satellites were as bright as Vega when I spotted them, but soon they faded to 3rd magnitude objects. They were moving slowly upwards in the constellation of Ophiuchus. Afterwards I did some investigation about these satellites, and I was able to positively identify them as NOSS 3-4 (A) and NOSS 3-4 (C) with help of my hobby friend.

NOSS -satellites are usually triple satellites, but some of them are only double. This might be because of one of the satellites in the triplet has been destroyed. NOSS satellties are American naval surveillance satellites, that has been lounched to space since 1970’s. The satellite programme had several code names, and it was ment to spy strategically interesting Soviet ships during  the Cold war.