RE: 24680

From: Ted Molczan (
Date: Sat Feb 21 2004 - 12:48:58 EST

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    Bjorn Gimle wrote:
    > I had a clear day, and searched in the interval -5/+5 min 
    > over gamma-delta-epsilon UMa (alt 39 deg) where 96-072 A 
    > should pass. I used the 7*30 binoculars I have in town.
    > This is the fifth pass I haven't seen since Feb.12
    Bjorn, I need to make certain that I understand when the object first failed to
    appear for you.
    On Feb 13 UTC, you wrote:
    "I did see USA 129 on the first pass above the trees in NE, but it was too
    cloudy to find star splits, and I lost it. By the next pass it was too cloudy to
    I took that to be the pass that culminated about 26 deg above the NE horizon,
    near 17:45 UTC on Feb 13.
    On Feb 15 UTC, you wrote:
    "After Russell's next obs on Feb.11 I tried to see it on four passes
    with fair to good seeing, two of them above 40 degrees elevation.
    On the high passes, I first watched to +30s in scope, then at 1-power
    and finally in binoculars."
    What were the dates and times of the four passes?
    You went on to write:
    "On a low pass, I saw something at the edge of of the field
    (18:47 feb.13?) but failed to follow it."
    I believe this refers to the pass that culminated about 26 deg above the NE
    horizon, near 17:45 UTC on Feb 13.
    If I take NE literally, i.e. azimuth 45 deg, then you would have been expecting
    the object at about 17:45:48 UTC. Assuming USA 129 did not show, then the first
    object which might have been mistaken for it, was the rocket body of the IRAS
    satellite, which passed about 7 deg lower than USA 129's predicted track.
    IRAS r           6.4  2.0  0.0  5.9 d 13.3
    1 13778U 83004B   04042.80990755  .00000142  00000-0  11403-3 0  7766
    2 13778 100.0413 118.5586 0021515  56.5291 303.7927 14.08307142 80800
    Bjorn, if you recall your planned intercept point of USA 129, then I will repeat
    this analysis.
    Ted Molczan
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