Optical 05 Jan 2009

From: Greg Roberts (grr@telkomsa.net)
Date: Wed Jan 07 2009 - 13:53:02 UTC

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    Observations 05 Jan 2009
    -------------------------------
    
    Cosatrak 1 (Computerised satellite Tracking System).
    Camera mount now carries two systems that can be operated
    together as two totally different sytems and computers used.
    Generally the DSI Pro II camera will be used for high altitude
    slow moving objects. Tests seem to indicate that its sensitivity
    is comparable to the MINTRON ( possibly better) but as its not
    possible (?) to time stamp to better than 1 second accuracy the
    time resolution is not good enough for LEO objects.
    
    (1) 145mm focal length f/2.5 lens fitted to MINTRON low light
    level CCD surveillance camera (0.005 lux typical in non integration
    mode) and 0.00005 lux in STARLIGHT mode with 128 frame integration.
    Image integrated for 2.56 seconds but exposure depends on sky background
    brightness. Field of view 2.5 x 1.9 degrees and showing about mag +12
    stars in "real time". Used as a finder for the 6 inch reflector.
    Individual frames are video time stamped with GPS derived signal.
    
    (2)Meade DSI Pro II Monochrome CCD camera without filters.
    using integration times of 20 sec min to 60 seconds maximum
    depending on brightness of sky in particular area.No image
    processing done.
    Used with 6 inch f/5 CELESTRON reflector modified to f/2.7 with home
    made corrector lens.Field of view 55 by 40 arc minutes and showing
    15th magnitude stars in real time.
    Exposure time to nearest second inserted into image FITS header
    from PC clock which is automatically checked every minute against
    GPS signal.
    
    Site 0433 : Longitude 18.51294 deg East, Latitude -33.94058 deg,
    Elevation 10 metres-situated in Pinelands (Cape Town),South Africa
    
    For CLASSFD.TLE:
    ----------------------
    32287 07 054A   0433 P 20090105190816000 56 15 0315412+072737 39  +110 05
    32287 07 054A   0433 P 20090105221651000 56 15 0624308+045657 39  +095 05
    05204 71 039A   0433 P 20090105184750000 56 15 0639165+133513 39  +110 05
    05204 71 039A   0433 P 20090105185011000 56 15 0641379+133045 39  +110 05
    
    Strays seen:
    ----------------
    STRV 1A  range 13550 kms - see Notes
    23125 94 034B   0433 P 20090105194729000 56 15 0353411+061012 39  +120 05
    SL-12 R/B(2), range 20170 kms, steady
    21858 92 005F   0433 P 20090105231740000 56 15 0724509+040731 39  +120 05
    COSMOS 2233 steady
    22487 93 008A   0433 P 20090105190815900 56 15 0316259+072902 39  +055 05
    NOVA 3 steady
    15362 84 110A   0433 P 20090105190932400 56 15 0319353+073836 39  +065 05
    COSMOS 192 steady
    03047 67 116A   0433 P 20090105191132200 56 15 0318022+072313 39  +020 05
    SL-14 R/B steady
    15822 85 047B   0433 P 20090105191553700 56 15 0324499+055411 39  +045 05
    ARIANE 1 DEBRI  steady
    17130 86 019Z   0433 P 20090105192750500 56 15 0339515+074729 39  +035 05
    GONETS D1M1 steady
    28909 05 048B   0433 P 20090105193632800 56 15 0347393+065303 39  +050 05
    METEOR PIRODA  steady
    12585 81 065A   0433 P 20090105195233900 56 15 0403333+062618 39  +025 05
    SL-16 R/B  steady
    24298 96 051B   0433 P 20090105200353000 56 15 0417135+061000 39  +010 05
    CZ-3 R/B , range 16980 kms, steady
    29517 06 048B   0433 P 20090105224334400 56 15 0654380+044329 39  +040 05
    
    
    Notes:
    -------
    
    (1) Clouds rather troublesome as well as bright moon.
    
    (2) STRV 1A crossed field of view of the 6 inch and left a very
        interesting trail. The satellite produced 12 flashes in about 27
        seconds and the flash sequence was periodic as follows:
    
         2 flashes equal brightness ( about +12 mag), followed by two faint
         flashes at about magnitude +14, followed by 2 bright flashes of
         equal magnitude ( about +12 mag), followed by two faint flashes
         at about magnitude +14 and so on - all flashes equally spaced.
         Pretty picture.
    
    Cheers
    Greg
    
    
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