Joint Visibility of XMM, Integral and CXO

From: Gerhard HOLTKAMP (
Date: Fri Apr 15 2005 - 15:29:46 EDT

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    Gerhard HOLTKAMP
    Darmstadt, Germany
    This is a request for observers in Southern Florida and Central Mexico.
    XMM (1999-066A) and Integral (2002-048A) are two large European astronomy 
    satellites (for X-Ray and Gamma Ray respectively) on highly eccentric orbits. 
    With a period of 2 days (XMM) and 3 days (Integral) their relative positions 
    repeat every 6 (sidereal) days. Every third time when close to its perigee 
    XMM appears close to Integral in the sky as viewed from the Southern tip of 
    Florida. The next three such events  are
    	17-APR-2005  6:28 UT
    	23-APR-2005  6:04 UT
    	29-APR-2005  5:40 UT
    The position in the sky is about RA 14h22m, Dec 5640'. (The exact position 
    depends on the observer's location). There are some guys at the European 
    Space Operations Centre which might appreciate a joint picture of their 
    beloved satellites!
    The event of 23-APR-2005 is particularly interesting as XMM's American 
    counterpart, NASA'S Chandra X-Ray Observatory (CXO - 1999-040B ) will joint 
    the European encounter within little over a degree. If you manage a two 
    degree field-of-view and can handle magnitudes down to about mag 16 you can 
    document the tripple encounter (and probably get your picture published in 
    the likes of Sky and Telescope). XMM has been reported as mag 9 or brighter 
    close to its perigee. I don't have data on Integral or CXO but they are both 
    far out close to their apogee at the time. A fair guess would be mag 15. The 
    apparent speed across the sky during the encounter is 0.87/min (XMM), 57 
    arcsec/min (Integral), 102 arcsec/min (CXO).
    The best place (theoretically) would be Key West but anywhere South of Miami 
    the relative distance between XMM and Integral drops below 0.5. (At the 
    27-th parallel the distance increases to about 1). But with a 2 FOV Central 
    Florida would be acceptable too. The events are also visible from Mexico 
    roughly along a line from Manzanillo on the Pacific coast to Tuxpan on the 
    Gulf coast. (Compared to Florida the apparent encounter happens 8 minutes 
    earlier at the Mexican Pacific coast and 5 minutes earlier at the Gulf 
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