I can't connect to the Tass news item directly http://tass.com/science/896683 but on a SETI page an item dated August 31, 2016 says:

An article that quotes the Russian news agency TASS is suggesting that the signal found using the Russian RATAN-600 radio telescope is, indeed, terrestrial interference. The article, which can be found here – http://tass.com/science/896683 -- says in part “Director of the Institute of Applied Astronomy at the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Ipatov told TASS that back at the Soviet period he had been part of a group of young astronomers at the special astrophysical observatory searching for signals from extraterrestrial civilizations. ‘We, indeed, discovered an unusual signal. However, an additional check showed that it was emanating from a Soviet military satellite, which had not been entered into any of the catalogs of celestial bodies,’ Ipatov said.”

Are there really "Soviet" (as opposed to Russian) military satellites that are not in "any of the catalogs of celestial bodies"? For example, does the NORAD generated TLE database at space-track.org leave out satellites belonging to other countries' military as a courtesy for some reason?

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    $\begingroup$ The way I read it, that quote by Ipatov is referring to an event that occurred during the Soviet period, rather than to present-day uncatalogued Soviet satellites, $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 3, 2016 at 1:20
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    $\begingroup$ The way I read it, the quoted director was recounting his own prior Soviet-era experience as a parallel of the 2016 event. Soviet-era would imply 25 or more years ago. From what I've read on this SE, unlikely any unserviced satellite would have such a long operational or design lifetime, with military satellites likely having very short lives simply due to rapid obsolescence. If omitted from a catalog, more likely due to the Soviet military's attempt toward secrecy rather than courtesy on anyone else's part. $\endgroup$
    – Anthony X
    Commented Sep 3, 2016 at 1:40
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    $\begingroup$ I believe there is also American satellites not registered ... $\endgroup$
    – Antzi
    Commented Sep 3, 2016 at 8:04
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    $\begingroup$ The TASS article quotes Yulia Sotnikova, saying "an unusual signal was received but its analysis showed that it was most likely a terrestrial disturbance". It sounds to me like they don't know the exact source of the signal, only that it must be terrestrial. Ipatov was just relating a story about a similar but separate event. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 3, 2016 at 22:15
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    $\begingroup$ @Antzi Yes. And also there are no military satellites of the US partners. For example Israel. $\endgroup$
    – A. Rumlin
    Commented Sep 1, 2020 at 18:10

1 Answer 1


As @Antony X and @Abacus Lever already said, the "secret soviet satellite" is referred to an earlier event, not to the 2015 observation. I could not find what exactly "secret satellite" it would be, if ever. I guess in Soviet time there was much less access to satellite catalogs. And Internet didn't exist yet (do you believe :) ).

Some more details in Russian:




Ratan-600 is a fixed many-dish radiotescope scanning the sky with Earth's rotation, in window 20 x 120 arcseconds.

The signal was detected by Ratan-600 in 2015. It was scanning in four wavelengths: 1, 1.4, 2.7 and 6.3 centimeters. It was found the excess on wavelenght 2.7 cm, but not on the other wavelengths, that is unusual for natural signals.

The signal was located close to a star HD164595, that is 95 light years from us and have at least one planet (alhough the planet is too heavy).

So the researchers sent the report to a conference in Mexico in 2016, from where the header had leaked and some hype had begun. (The report itself does not say it's definitely artifical extraterrestrial signal.)

Follow-up observations by Ratan-600 and other radiotelescopes did not find the signal.


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