Jimmy Church's Starlink UFOs in Palmdale

Mick West

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ea8BCl2yVU0


The above is a summary of the findings of this discussion.

Original First post follows:
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A video of what looks like the same thing as multiple pilots have been reporting, but from ground level.
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-WDx7byI0k
This was the most incredible night of strange things in the sky I've ever seen... I shot this video with night vision binoculars and my iPhone 12 Pro Max. Dozens of 'objects' started to appear in the sky, due north of my home. You could not see them with the naked eye. The whole thing lasted about 15 minutes. I was out on my 2nd floor patio looking at the stars with the night vision at 1am on the morning of August 14/15th, 2022 when the first few caught my attention... all just 'appeared' in the sky, moving from west to east... so I ran and got my iPhone and started shooting video... all of them were at different degrees on the horizon. They just materialized, lit up... one after another. Some got so bright that you could see them behind the trees in the distance. This is the original audio with my comments as everything happened.
Content from External Source

Being very dim makes sense. Also being at ground level it has the advantage of being highly repeatable.
(Although this was back in August, so maybe not until next summer)
 
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Easy Muffin

Senior Member
Being very dim makes sense. Also being at ground level it has the advantage of being highly repeatable.
(Although this was back in August, so maybe not until next summer)
Ah, that would be very fortunate indeed of they show up in night vision from the surface.

They're in the same location again, Ursa Major. The bright star in the top left is Dubhe, Merak is hidden behind the house. He's looking almost exactly due north, and again the sun is below the horizon in the same direction, and once more about 40 degrees below the horizon.

a.jpg
 

flarkey

Senior Member.
Staff member
Ah, that would be very fortunate indeed of they show up in night vision from the surface.

They're in the same location again, Ursa Major. The bright star in the top left is Dubhe, Merak is hidden behind the house. He's looking almost exactly due north, and again the sun is below the horizon in the same direction, and once more about 40 degrees below the horizon.

I agree.

1667577309738.png

The sun (over the horizon) lines up with this direction at about 00:30hrs PST, not the 1am that is mentioned in the video description. And at this time there is a steady stream of starlink satellites moving left to right in exactly the same spot as those seen in the video.

Edit: I've edited these screenshots now that we have the actual timestamp from the video.
1667643624533.png
1667643641472.png
This is one of the best videos we have of this identified aerial phenomena, it might even be possible to sync his video with a screen grab of the in-the-sky.org animation. Hey @Mick West - do you know anyone who is good at producing videos like this? ;)

These seem to be the satellites directly over Southern Alaska, at a distance of 2300km from Palmdale, right on the edge of day/night terminator. Note STARLINK-1522, just to the right-hand edge of the Big Dipper.
1667643808844.png

Edit: Also added this screenshot that shows that the Sun was directly below the flares over the horizon at the time of the sighting.
1667644321597.png
 
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jarlrmai

Senior Member
If you want a few pro level editor Davinci Resolve is good, but of course Mick has the YT channel and the reach.
 

Mick West

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Visible Satellites from Palmdale, sundown to sun up. There's always some at that time of the year.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
This is one of the best videos we have of this identified aerial phenomena, it might ven be possible to sync his video with a screen grab of the in-the-sky.org animation. Hey @Mick West - do you know anyone who is good at producing videos like this? ;)
Would be best to sync it with Stellarium, with the correct historical TLE file.

Here's an overlay with a couple of Satellites.
Stars Overlay.jpg
 

Easy Muffin

Senior Member
The sun (over the horizon) lines up with this direction at about 00:30hrs PST, not the 1am that is mentioned in the video description. And at this time there is a steady stream of starlink satellites moving left to right in exactly the same spot as those seen in the video.
Hmm, I was thinking it might be a little bit earlier when I lined it up with the stellarium view. Maybe not as early as half 12 but I think I got some good fits around 00:40-01:00. Granted it was a very quick job and there's always the lens distortion problem.
But if the time is correct then I don't think it was much later than 01:00 sharp.
 

Mick West

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Hmm, I was thinking it might be a little bit earlier when I lined it up with the stellarium view. Maybe not as early as half 12 but I think I got some good fits around 00:40-01:00. Granted it was a very quick job and there's always the lens distortion problem.
But if the time is correct then I don't think it was much later than 01:00 sharp.
In Stellarium, use the "Perspective" projection, which I think is essentially rectilinear, which is pretty close to iPhone.

2022-11-04_09-48-31.jpg
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
You can use the Occulars plugin to simulate a camera/lens setup, it's usually used for telescopes and astro imaging CCDs but you could probably work out how to approximate an iPhone
1667580674709.png
 

flarkey

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This is the correct historical 3LE file.
 

Attachments

  • www.space-track Starlink 14 15 Aug 22.txt
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Mick West

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From Jimmy:
Timestamp in metadata: Sunday Aug 14, 2022 12:52 AM I started shooting video about five minutes AFTER the first sighting... so that would have been around 12:45 AM.[/ex[
Content from External Source
 

Easy Muffin

Senior Member
From Jimmy:
Timestamp in metadata: Sunday Aug 14, 2022 12:52 AM I started shooting video about five minutes AFTER the first sighting... so that would have been around 12:45 AM.[/ex[
Content from External Source
00:52 is pretty much right in the middle of the time window I thought likely from the overlay so that all seems to fit nicely.
(I usually use KStars over Stellarium since I'm more familiar with it - I use its gnomonic projection method for this, which seems to be the same as Stellarium's 'perspective' view.)
 

Mick West

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Comparison of Starlink traffic with Jimmy's video.
https://www.metabunk.org/f/Compare Jimmy Chucrch Racetrack.mp4

Close up showing speed match. Not the actually satellite.



I am not able to get a precise match. This is is the the 3LE FLarkey posted. Jimmy's video seems to have more satellites in closer groups. So it's possible that the "visibility" determination in Stellarium is inaccurate. I'll try it again with them all turned on.

I'm also lacking a precise start time for the video. I've asked Jimmy for the original, and hopefully he'll come through.
 

flarkey

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Just checking the time-validity of the 3LE file that I provided for @Mick West . Jimmy says the metadata for the file is:


Source: https://twitter.com/JChurchRadio/status/1588582707012939777?s=20&t=kdBhdHh63x8TYefhoDkYhw


Timestamp in metadata: Sunday Aug 14, 2022 12:52 AM
I started shooting video about five minutes AFTER the first sighting... so that would have been around 12:45 AM PDT

That means the event happened on Aug 14, 2022 12:52 AM PST , which equates to Aug 14 2022 07:52 UTC

An example from 3LE file I provided is, with the time in bold:
0 STARLINK-24
1 44238U 19029D 22226.13345634 .00107052 00000-0 23067-2 0 9990
2 44238 53.0031 197.7201 0002626 97.0873 263.0430 15.43770505178777

The date in the 3LE file at 22226.13345634 = 2022-08-14 T03:12 UTC (from this converter)

So I think that shows that the 3LE file is the right one and the data is around 5hrs old, so should be pretty accurate.
 
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Mick West

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That means the event happened on Aug 14, 2022 12:52 AM PST , which equates to Aug 14 2022 07:52 UTC
PST is Pacific Standard Time, which is UTC-8. You mean PDT (Pacific Daylight Time).

Slightly off topic (other than getting the time right), but people often use GMT for "the time in the UK" (which it is not when it's BST - British Summer Time), and PST or EST for "the time on the west or east coast." Something to watch out for - although usually clear from context. The problem arises if you use a converter that does not take the date (and this common confusion) into account.

I prefer to use PT and ET
 

flarkey

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Staff member
PST is Pacific Standard Time, which is UTC-8. You mean PDT (Pacific Daylight Time).
Yep whoops sorry. My brain automatically thinks the S in PST is 'summer', as in BST. In this context it doesn't affect the validity of the 3LE data.
 

Easy Muffin

Senior Member
Right, so to be absolutely sure, the internal clock was set up correctly and the time in the video is 00:52 on the 14th, correct? Just wondering because the original description says
1am on the morning of August 14/15th, 2022
which I took to mean around 1 AM on the 15th. One day won't make a very noticeable change in the position of the stars but obviously the sat passes would have been quite different.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
I had sort of missed that these images were taken through NVGs that changes the optical considerations for Oculars, I think if we want to see flaring from the ground ourselves using NVGs is going to help. Does make me wonder why this guy was looking at the sky in the right direction and time for Starlink flares with NVGs when there was nothing visible to the naked eye. I wonder if they are commonly seen with NVGs..

I watched the Starlink sats from the TLE pass through the region, according to Stellurium's visibility calculations they pass in and out of view, if we want to do an exact match we need the original video so we can get precise frame time matches.
 

flarkey

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Staff member
I'm also lacking a precise start time for the video. I've asked Jimmy for the original, and hopefully he'll come through.

I've had a look back at in-the-sky.org (although visually clunkier than Stellarium I find it easier to use). Two things that I think I've worked out.

1) The screenshots below seem to be a match, (YouTube Time Code 0m25s and 00h54m16s PDT) and the animated passes of Satellites that follow seem to match in the video too in their relative positions in the sky. So that might be a place to start from for others when trying to make a true synchronised video.

1667646123643.png

2) If this time sync is correct, then I've also noticed that some satellites in the video are flaring but are not indicated as 'illuminated' in the in-the-sky.org view. I think this is because they are so close to the terminator that the tolerances are very tight. They may be 99% illuminated, which is enough to create a flare, but not enough for the code to mark it as illuminated. I assume Stellarium would function similarly.
 

Mick West

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2) If this time sync is correct, then I've also noticed that some satellites in the video are flaring but are not indicated as 'illuminated' in the in-the-sky.org view. I think this is because they are so close to the terminator that the tolerances are very tight. They may be 99% illuminated, which is enough to create a flare, but not enough for the code to mark it as illuminated. I assume Stellarium would function similarly.
I agree. I suspect they use a simplistic geometric cut-off without correctly accounting for the true shape of the Earth and/or atmospheric refraction.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
1) The screenshots below seem to be a match, (YouTube Time Code 0m25s and 00h54m16s PDT) and the animated passes of Satellites that follow seem to match in the video too in their relative positions in the sky. So that might be a place to start from for others when trying to make a true synchronised video.
Making one now....
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
I've had a look back at in-the-sky.org (although visually clunkier than Stellarium I find it easier to use). Two things that I think I've worked out.

1) The screenshots below seem to be a match, (YouTube Time Code 0m25s and 00h54m16s PDT) and the animated passes of Satellites that follow seem to match in the video too in their relative positions in the sky. So that might be a place to start from for others when trying to make a true synchronised video.

1667646123643.png

2) If this time sync is correct, then I've also noticed that some satellites in the video are flaring but are not indicated as 'illuminated' in the in-the-sky.org view. I think this is because they are so close to the terminator that the tolerances are very tight. They may be 99% illuminated, which is enough to create a flare, but not enough for the code to mark it as illuminated. I assume Stellarium would function similarly.
That's really cool, you sync up Stellarium and the video on another monitor and you watch them come over on Stellarium and flare on on the video.
 

Easy Muffin

Senior Member
This really drives home just how bonkers that Starlink network is. No wonder some people get weirded out by it. There's never anything like it before.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
Long exposure timelapses are sure to show them up like this

They seem to agree

1667735313811.png
 
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