|JULY 30, 2011||CASTOR Detects its 4,000th Satellite!!!: Click the link below for details!|
|JULY 30, 2011||
CASTOR Detects New Second Furthest Satellite:
Once upon a time, CASTOR`s second furthest detection was a Russian SL-6
rocket at 185,000km in range. Today, that has changed with the detection of
Geotail: a Japanese high altitude science satellite. CASTOR detected the 2.5
metre diameter cylinder at nearly 190,000 km away.
The furthest man-made satellite
that CASTOR has detected continues to be the Soviet "Astron" X-Ray
Observatory, which was located 196,000 km in range when it was detected.
|JULY 30, 2011||
CASTOR Detects the Ancient Satellite "Explorer 7":
CASTOR has detected another historic satellite in the form of the American "Explorer 7".
This satellite was launched on October 13, 1959; just two years after
Sputnik! CASTOR detected this pioneering meteorological satellite when it was nearly 800km
in range. This is phenomenal when you consider that the satellite is only
75cm (2.5 feet) in diameter!
Explorer 7 is
the first satellite detected by CASTOR that was launched before 1960.
|JULY 5, 2011||
CASTOR Detects the Hubble Space Telescope:
At 04:17 UTC July 5, 2011, CASTOR detected another historic piece of space
hardware called the Hubble Space Telescope. From its northern latitude,
CASTOR could detect and track Hubble when it was only 10 degrees above its
The Hubble Space Telescope
becomes CASTOR #3,971 in the catalogue. This is yet another historic day for
|JUNE 2, 2011||
CASTOR Detects the Second Canadian Satellite:
CASTOR has detected the second Canadian satellite in orbit, Alouette 2;
launched on November 29, 1965. It appeared as faint as the original Alouette
|JUNE 1, 2011||
CASTOR Detects its 3,700th Satellite: At
05:36:45 UTC May 25, 2011, CASTOR detected a piece of debris from an
American Delta 1 rocket. This piece of space rubble became CASTOR's 3,700th satellite detected since
January 1, 2007.
The CASTOR Satellite Catalogue now stands at an impressive 3,717 individual satellites.
CASTOR is very close to attaining another milestone of detecting a total of 4,000 individual satellites by the end of 2011.
|NOVEMBER 30, 2010||
CASTOR Detects its 3,500th Satellite:
At 23:33:28 UTC November 29, 2010, CASTOR detected the
Iridium 2 satellite which became its 3,500th satellite detected since
January 1, 2007.
The Iridium 2 satellite was observed to be quite different from its cousins since its apparent angular velocity was much higher and the satellite looked much brighter. A quick check confirmed that the satellite is not undergoing orbit decay, so it must have been launched into a lower altitude.
Iridium satellites have marked CASTOR milestones in the past. Iridium 12 was the catalogue's 1,500th satellite back in 2007. Iridium 33 was detected by CASTOR exactly two years before its ill-fated collision with Cosmos 2251 on February 10, 2009. CASTOR even detected one piece of Iridium 33 debris.
CASTOR plans to continue its survey in 2011 and hopes to attain another milestone of 4,000 individual satellites by the end of that year. Although future launches will assist in this effort, it is doubtful there will be 500 new satellites in one single year.
|MARCH 28, 2010||
CASTOR Detects its 3,200th Satellite:
At 00:17:11.870 UTC on March 28,
2010, CASTOR detected the 3,200th satellite since it began keeping a
detailed catalogue on January 1, 2007.
The satellite was a Russian SL-8 rocket body launched on May 7, 1981 to place the Russian military telecommunications payload Cosmos 1269 into Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Cosmos 1269 is already listed in the CASTOR Satellite Catalogue as #1882. The satellite was 792 km in altitude and nearly directly above the CASTOR detector.
This is the 235th SL-8 (AKA R-14) type rocket body detected by CASTOR since January 1, 2007. At the present time there are approximately 300 SL-8 rocket bodies in orbit. CASTOR has detected approximately 79% of these objects and it is doubtful that this will be the last one CASTOR will detect.
CASTOR resumed its satellite
surveys at the beginning of March 2010. In March, it detected an additional 50
satellites to add to the 3,153 satellites detected from 2007 to 2009.
|DECEMBER 31, 2009||
CASTOR Detects 1,100 Satellites During the International Year of
At 23:54:02.768 UTC December 29,
2009, CASTOR detected Iridium 19; its final satellite of the International Year
of Astronomy. 2009 has been a momentous year for CASTOR, having detected an
additional 1,100 satellites to the 2,053 it had already detected in 2007 in
celebration of Sputnik's 50th anniversary.
With the detection of Iridium 19, the grand total of detections has reached 3,153 unique satellites. This amount of detections is certainly unprecedented in Canada and most of the world. This accomplishment proves that a significant amount of satellites can be detected and tracked optically with small aperture telescopes and CCD cameras.
These 1,100 satellites were from all
satellite obit types: LEO, MEO, GEO and HEO, Sun-Synchronous, Molniya, Tundra,
GPS and everything in between.
|OCTOBER 20, 2009||
CASTOR Detects Alouette 1: Canada's First Satellite:
At 00:45:54 UTC October 19, 2009, CASTOR successfully
detected the Alouette 1 satellite; Canada's first venture into outer space.
Alouette 1, launched on September 29, 1962 to study the Earth's ionosphere, symbolized Canada's effort to establish itself as a space-faring nation. The satellite was active for 10 years (despite its 1 year designed life span) before having to be shut down in 1972.
CASTOR is especially proud and honoured to have detected such a historical Canadian satellite. Alouette 1 becomes the 3,031st satellite to be detected by CASTOR since January 1, 2007.
|JUNE 2, 2009||
CASTOR Releases New Ground-Breaking Research Paper:
Following the disastrous collision of Iridium 33 and
Cosmos 2251, CASTOR spent six weeks researching the responsibility and
liability of the satellite industry and space surveillance institutions. The
result is a new research paper entitled:
"The Iridium 33 - Cosmos 2251 Collision: Creating
Liability Awareness for Space Property / Contemplating the Future of Space
and is the first of its kind. The
paper discusses liability and responsibility within the
satellite realm and new methods of defining them by suggesting specific collision
scenarios and redefining important terms such as "damage".
This ground-breaking one-of-a-kind research paper is available in full for $20 (pdf format), $25 (plus shipping) for a CD and $30 (plus shipping) for professional hard copy.
|MARCH 21, 2009||CASTOR Successfully Detects Iridium 33 Debris: At 00:31:29 UTC March 20, 2009, CASTOR successfully detected one of the pieces from the Iridium 33 / Cosmos 2251 collision.|
|FEBRUARY 11, 2009||
Two satellites collide over
northern Siberia: Cosmos 2251, an inactive communications relay satellite,
and Iridium 33, an active telecommunications satellite, collided over
Siberia at 16:56 UTC February 10, 2009. This is the first time two fully
intact payloads have collided in the 51 years since Sputnik.
|FEBRUARY 11, 2009||
CASTOR Launches "Satellite Identification Service": CASTOR's 12 years of satellite tracking experience can also be used to identify satellites that observers from all over the world have detected with the naked eye, the eyepiece or the CCD camera. This unique service costs $5 per satellite. What you get is your own personal positive identification of the satellite that you have seen.
|JULY 12, 2008||
CASTOR "Tracks" Novae Ophiuchi 1 and 2 (2008): CASTOR is taking some time to measure the light curves of Novae Ophiuchi 1 and 2, which were originally discovered at the tail end of May and the beginning of June, respectively. CASTOR will continue to measure the light curves of the two novae until they can no longer be detected with CASTOR's equipment.
|JULY 09, 2008||
CASTOR's First Research Paper Published: CASTOR's first research paper, entitled, "CASTOR's Sputnik 50th Anniversary Satellite Tracking Bonanza: Project Overview and Preliminary Analysis" has been published in the August 2008 issue of the Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (JRASC). It marks another first for CASTOR, in which it is the first privately owned satellite tracking business to publish a major scientific paper in a nationwide publication. CASTOR's next research paper will feature the more interesting astrometric and photometric findings of the Bonanza.