Re: NROL-23 launched

From: Robert Holdsworth (
Date: Thu Feb 03 2005 - 12:14:21 EST

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    Yes, RA was corrected immediately in a subsequent post, but of course there
    would have been a slight delay in you receiving it.
    Sorry about omitting elevation- a combination of excitement and needing to
    get to sleep, by the time I realised I had omitted it, I was almost asleep
    so had to wait till next morning our time. Apologies also for lack of 
    timings- however I understand time and duration (20 seconds) of the burn 
    were known anyway, and it would have been very difficult to time when it 
    actually commenced and ended owing to the diffuse cloud generated.
    Estimated around 20 degrees elevation - certainly comparatively low but well 
    above the
    hills which cut off my visibility to the east at around 10 to 12 degrees.
    The ground track  indicates that the burn would not have been at a high
    At the point when it glowed a nice luminous green it did appear that the
    rocket shape was visible but naturally I wanted to be more sure before
    reporting definite obs - I was familiar with the shape as I had been
    watching it on ILS launch video coverage (though I was slightly delayed and 
    missed the launch itself.) Unfortunately I did not have sensitive enough 
    photographic equipment to pick it up but the luminous glow is firmly etched 
    in my mind!
    So it seems observation is confirmed- made my day (or should be that week!)
    Weather conditions as mentioned were excellent, on probably our hottest day
    this year with temperature having reached 27 degrees C during the day and
    was probably still in the 20s at the time- perhaps I should not tell USA
    observers this, but  I was observing in a short sleeved shirt and shorts,
    something I am rarely able to do!   We had had a little cloud to the west
    but even that had disappeared- it is fortunate that my location is shielded 
    from sea fog which has been causing problems in some local areas.     It had 
    only been dark enough for good observation about half an hour before- was 
    2155 our time and it is summer.
    ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: "Ted Molczan" <>
    To: "SeeSat-L" <>
    Sent: Thursday, February 03, 2005 11:27 PM
    Subject: RE: NROL-23 launched
    > Seems very likely that you saw the MES2 burn, which was predicted to pass
    > near
    > RA 12:50 Dec -34:40 at the time and site of your observation.
    > Congratulations!
    > Can you estimate the observed elevation above the horizon at the time of
    > the
    > burn?
    > Ted Molczan
    > -------------------------------------------------------------------------
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