Obs of 96072B

Robert H. McNaught, Anglo-Australian Observatory (RMN@aaocbn2.aao.gov.au)
Thu, 2 Jan 1997 12:17:48 +1100 (EST)

More fixes from Bugaldie

96072B
               UT             (2000)
             h  m  s       h  m     d  '
1996 Dec 31 10 41 44.85   08 59.6 -15 02   mag +4.5
            12 13 42.44   14 05   -82 59
            12 16 05.25   04 05.7 -61 31

1997 Jan 01 11 58 16.02   12 59   -70 46   mag +7
            12 00 06.36   09 12.5 -71 47

Photometry
Dec 30
My visual estimates were quite possibly too bright.  I would be
willing to accept it was mag +4 at the lower pass (instead of +3)
and mag +3 at the 2nd, higher, pass (instead of +2).  Being more concerned
about fixing some positions, I didn't really estimate very carefully.

Dec 31
The 1st pass was quite obvious at mag +4.5, so this suggests the previous
night I overestimated the brightness.  During the second pass, I tried to
pick it up low in the south at 2400 km distance, but it passed thru my
10x50B field unnoticed and presumably fainter than mag +9.  It was picked up
about a minute later with the naked eye and showed a pronounced variation
from mag +5 -> +2.5 with a period of perhaps 2 mins.  The period was very
poorly determined thru trying to get the fixes (and being rather rusty
and disorganised!).

Jan 01
Again showed variations.  Mag +7 at 2000 km in the South, but closer to
shadow entry was "obvious" to the NE.  Similar to last night, but no
estimates of amplitude or period.

OTHER SATS
On Dec 31, I made fixes of a couple of other satellites in vaguely "similar"
orbits.  Checking against Don Barry's ephemeris service one was 88032(A?)
Cosmos 1939, and the other seems to be 94074A Resurs 1-3.  It was about 2 mins
later than the ephemeris, but the position seems to fit

               UT             (2000)
             h  m  s       h  m     d
1996 Dec 31 11 47 04.1    03 30.5 -28.6
                +/-1

This is an extrapolated "fix" about 2 seconds into the umbra (ie sat not
visible!).  It was in a S to N orbit and reached mag +3 before shadow entry.

Cheers, Rob McNaught