RE: [OT] Need help in identifying a comet like object

From: Ted Molczan (ssl3molcz@rogers.com)
Date: Wed Feb 13 2013 - 00:56:25 UTC

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    Sankar wrote:
    
    > On February 8th early morning I saw a comet like object (fuzzy white with a
    > tail) from about 3:30 am to 5:30 am Indian Standard Time (February 7th 10
    > pm UTC onwards) from Coorg - a southern Indian town. It was quite bright
    > and it first appeared somewhere in Centaurus in the southern sky. It  moved
    > very quickly through Lupus, Scorpius, and Serpens in a span of about 2
    > hours while its brightness reduced rapidly. One could see its movement in
    > the binocular FoV.
    
    Building on the earlier responses, especially that of Randy John, the Ariane 5 launch of 2013 Feb 07 at 21:36 UTC does
    indeed correlate with your observation. Most likely, you observed venting from the final stage of the rocket.
    
    The final stage shut down at 22:01:19 UTC, and both payloads had separated by 22:12:44 UTC. At almost precisely the same
    time, the orbit exited eclipse, and became visible from your location, which I believe is near 12.42 N, 75.73 E.
    
    I have appended an ephemeris for your location, derived from the first TLE of object 13006C / 39080. The values are at
    7.5 deg intervals of the arc across the sky, spanning your reported period of observation. The path is in reasonable
    agreement with your description.
    
    Ted Molczan
    
      TIME     AZ  EL     R.A.      DEC     VANG  RANGE    ALT
    22:12:48  201  39  11:07:03  -35:03:08  0.11   3990   3029
    22:13:54  194  42  11:39:50  -34:02:51  0.10   4168   3301
    22:15:06  186  45  12:11:08  -32:39:58  0.09   4405   3602
    22:16:27  177  47  12:41:09  -30:57:40  0.08   4713   3943
    22:17:59  168  48  13:09:31  -29:01:24  0.07   5101   4335
    22:19:47  159  48  13:36:39  -26:53:59  0.06   5592   4797
    22:21:56  151  47  14:02:33  -24:39:55  0.05   6209   5350
    22:24:34  143  46  14:27:29  -22:22:31  0.04   6984   6026
    22:27:51  135  45  14:51:33  -20:05:40  0.03   7957   6862
    22:32:01  129  43  15:14:56  -17:52:39  0.02   9174   7906
    22:37:24  123  40  15:37:51  -15:45:53  0.02  10692   9218
    22:44:26  119  38  16:00:28  -13:47:35  0.01  12563  10865
    22:53:42  115  36  16:22:56  -11:58:57  0.01  14839  12913
    23:05:56  112  34  16:45:20  -10:20:30  0.01  17542  15414
    23:22:02  110  34  17:07:44  -08:51:57  0.01  20657  18381
    23:43:01  108  34  17:30:11  -07:32:29  0.00  24099  21764
    00:09:51  107  35  17:52:39  -06:21:06  0.00  27685  25409
    00:43:15  107  38  18:15:07  -05:16:37  0.00  31124  29038
    01:23:17  108  43  18:37:35  -04:17:58  0.00  34031  32254
    02:09:03  110  48  19:00:03  -03:24:15  0.00  35997  34603
    02:58:29  113  55  19:22:38  -02:34:51  0.00  36693  35687
    
    Time = UTC, beginning on 2013 Feb 07
    AZ = azimuth, degrees clockwise from north
    EL = elevation above horizon, deg
    R.A., Dec are 2000.0 celestial coordinates
    VANG = angular velocity, deg/s
    Range = distance from observer, km
    Alt = altitude above geoid, km
    
    
    
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