Foton M4 on schedule

From: via Seesat-l <seesat-l_at_satobs.org>
Date: 4 Aug 2014 18:16:09 -0700
I caught Foton M4 tonight from Conanicut Island (lat=41.48 N, lon=71.37 W) as it passed almost exactly halfway between Megrez and Phad at the "handle end" of the Big Dipper's bowl. It was on-time within the limits of my visual timing --no more than three seconds early, no more than one second late, crossing the Megrez-Phad line at 20:49:39 EDT by my best estimate. Its magnitude was about 3.5-4.0. I could see it through thin cirrus in late twilight. It was moving fast, consistent with the predicted pass. The color was a bit orange.

Note that this observation (unless it was a random satellite that just happened to be on the same trajectory at the same speed) confirms that the orbit has not been significantly adjusted, despite claims that ground control has re-established active control over the satellite.

Personally for me, this was the end of a long "quest". I've been hoping to catch a glimpse of one of these "Vostok cousins" for many years. 

Frank Reed
Conanicut Island USA
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Received on Mon Aug 04 2014 - 20:23:10 UTC

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