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The paper provides an overview of studies of artificial objects in the near-earth space, which have been carried out with the Shajn telescope since 2005. One of the study objectives was to develop a technique for observing and cataloging small objects (∼10–25 cm) in the geostationary orbit with a brightness of 18–20m. Despite the strong limitation of observational time, the use of Shajn telescope for solving this problem was quite effective. It is shown that it is possible to detect and catalog small-size objects in the geostationary orbit even with a telescope with a small field of view (∼8–12 arcmin).
A new modern device (panoramic CCD photometer) was created and placed at the prime focus of the Shajn telescope to solve tasks of searching for faint, highly variable, “dynamic” objects.
In the period from 2011 to 2021, the Shajn telescope carried out observations of distant spacecrafts Spektr-R, Gaia, Spektr-RG, and Mars-2020. Particular attention was paid to the Russian astrophysical observatory Spektr-RG in the halocentric orbit around the L2 Lagrange point of the Sun – Earth system. Observations of this scientific spacecraft are continuing to this day. The accuracy of the obtained astrometric estimates is such that the median values of root-meansquare errors in right ascension and declination are 0.055" and 0.075", respectively. The Mars-2020 spacecraft on the flight trajectory to Mars was observed at a distance of up to 6.5 million km as an object of 21.8m.
The task of observing distant spacecrafts remains relevant for identifying artificial objects among numerous natural ones detected in the near-earth space.
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