Recently I've started to observe satellites with my 20x80 Binoculars. I'm amazed by the fact I can clearly track satellites and rocket bodies at 2000 km altitude (I've reached 8 mag with some objects) from an urban sky.
I was wondering if I could observe some space debris fragments left by a fuel leaks, explosions or breakups of satellites, or just tools, bags, cameras, insulating blanckets or any kind of junk intentionally or accidentally thrown by astronauts during EVAs.
I guess these objects are small (less than a meter in the majority of the cases) but can amateur observers spot them? I see there's a lot of ISS DEB and IRIDIUM 33 DEB objects in orbital tracking databases. Which of them is the brightest? What magnitude are we talking about? I guess that there should be some pieces large enougth and reflective enought to be visible with my binoculars but I'm not sure about it (maybe it is easier to see one of them traversing in front of the Moon?).
Since I asked this question I've been able to observe these space debris:
List updated the 28/07/2020:
- SL-24 DEB 2010-028D | wich is the Gas Dynamic Shield of the russian PICARD mission
- BREEZE-M DEB (TANK) 2013-058C | wich is the toroidal fuel tank of the Briz-M stage of a russian rocket
- ISS DEB (SEDA-AP) | wich is an experiment of the Kibo module from the ISS that couldn't be transported back to Earth and was released from the station.
- H-2A DEB 2012-025F | wich is a 4/4D-LC Adapter for a japanese rocket
- SL-24 DEB 2009-041J | wich is a Dnepr Platform A/Fairing
- CZ-4C DEB 2014-047F | wich is a fragment of the upper stage of a Long March CZ-4C rocket