Obs 12 April 2005 Part 1

From: Greg Roberts (grr@iafrica.com)
Date: Wed Apr 13 2005 - 12:45:48 EDT

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    Observations 12 Apr 2005:
    ----------------------------
    
    Cosatrak 1 (Computerised satellite Tracking System).
    MINTRON low light level CCD surveillance camera (0.005 lux typical
    in non integration mode) and 0.00005 lux in STARLIGHT mode with 128
    frame integration.
    
    Usual 145 mm lens and 2.56 second exposures.
    
    Site 0433 : Longitude 18.51294 deg East, Latitude  33.94058 deg S,
    Elevation 10 metres - situated in Pinelands (Cape Town), South Africa
    
    
    
    91023 05 097HEO 0433 G 20050407191043500 56 15 1112219+165002 39
    
    91023 05 097HEO 0433 G 20050412191848800 56 15 0723408+123001 39  +090 05
    91023 05 097HEO 0433 G 20050412192934500 56 15 0735008+122632 39  +090 05
    91023 05 097HEO 0433 G 20050412204335100 56 15 0854265+112902 39  +090 05
    91023 05 097HEO 0433 G 20050412204426000 56 15 0855187+112759 39  +090 05
    91023 05 097HEO 0433 G 20050412205601800 56 15 0908016+111444 39  +090 05
    
    COSMOS 1738
    16667 86 027A   0433 G 20050412193420300 56 15 0819460+182729 39  +090 05
    16667 86 027A   0433 G 20050412204759200 56 15 0935026+171327 39  +105 05
    COSMOS 1888
    18384 87 084A   0433 G 20050412204759200 56 15 0929146+162441 39  +129 05
    ARIANE 44 LP R/B  observed at range 26960 kilometres
    26490 00 046D   0433 G 20050412174225900 56 15 0910346+064803 39  +095 05
    SL-12 R/B(2)
    28119 03 053E   0433 G 20050412211254000 56 15 1233198+070654 39  +105 05
    
    Notes:
    ------
    
    (1) Many thanks to Mike McCants for producing an orbit for unknown 91023.
        Using this I was able to find another image that I had missed on the
        7th April so this gives a slightly larger observed arc.(Reported above)
    
    (2) The main purpose of the evenings observations was to try and find
        91023 - I could not try earlier because of bad weather. Realising that
        the satellite would probably not be where predicted (due to the
        small arc on which the elements were based and also that the elements
        were now 5 days old), I did a large box search of the expected area and
        scanned an area from azimuth 315 to 350 and elevation 26 to 33 degrees,
        using 1.5 degree increments, staying on each position for 30 seconds
        before moving to the next.The box was scanned three times from 1752UT
        till about 21h10m UT.
    
    (3) I did not find any unknown close to the predicted position but found
        a new geostationary satellite. However I had scanned this area about
        two weeks ago and would not have missed a geostationary so bright so
        I think that there is a very good possibility that this is what I
        was looking for. The predictions indicated that #91923 would be near
        apogee so this fits. Initially I was looking for something fainter
        since on the discovery date the satellite was variable and somewhat
        fainter but then remembered that on the discovery date the satellite
        was coming down from apogee and the range was a lot less, with the
        result that the discovery images showed a trailed satellite. With the
        satellite at apogee the satellite would not noticeably trail so all
        the light from the satellite was being integrated into a single point
        instead of being spread out along the track. The satellite was about 30 
       degrees out in azimuth from the approximate predicted position but 
       elevation was okay.
    
    (4) Hopefully Mike will confirm this object is in fact #91023. If not
        then its a new unknown geostationary.
    
    (5) The other objects reported were found whilst hunting. I have not yet
        measured the LEO satellites seen nor an interesting bright medium
        altitude satellite. I recorded about 7 hours of observations to DVD
        and so far have only gone through about three hours which took me about
        six hours today - I hope to do the remaining 4 hours tomorrow.
    
    Cheers
    Greg
    
    
    
    
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