RE: Titan IV payload

Ted Molczan (
Fri, 3 Jan 1997 23:19:14 -0500

Rob Matson commented on Robert McNaught's obs of an
object near the 96072A search plane:

>> Other object reported in same path on previous orbit
>> photometry mag +8 and steady
>> 13h 35min 36.91UT  RA 23h 30.6m   Dec -41deg 35min
>> 13h 39min 48.28UT  RA   0h 46.2m   Dec -22deg 31min
>> Epoch 2000 co-ordinates
>I've done a preliminary search of over 4000 orbital elements, and no
>candidates come within 2 degrees of the above coordinates within 10 minutes of
>the observation time.  I will search a complete set (8000+ objects), but I
>suspect that Rob has successfully located the Titan IV payload

I looked at this yesterday, and was able to quickly
dismiss any connection with 96072A. Regrettably, I
forgot to post my findings to SeeSat-L. Here is what
I relayed to Rob McNaught:

These points are close to the predicted path;
however, the time of travel between them is
much too great. If the second point had occurred
around 13:38 +/- a few seconds, then that
would have been a good fit. Basically, the 96072A
orbit is passing over you near apogee, [at which 
height it is much faster than this object.]

> A preliminary orbit can be computed from his two
> precise observations. 

Here is a the circular orbit that fits those points:

1 99999U          97  2.56639942  .00000000                   0    1 
2 99999  84.4054  68.5595 0000000    .0000 312.8890 11.47306619    0

The KeyHole orbit, at apogee is much faster than this circular
best-fit to the obs, so there is no way this is from 96072A.

Clear skies!