RE: Obs 21 June 2005

From: Ted Molczan (molczan@rogers.com)
Date: Thu Jun 23 2005 - 16:10:40 EDT

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    Greg Roberts wrote:
    
    > (5) A faint unknown was seen whilst waiting for a predicted object so
    >     positions only obtained over a very small arc before it faded out.
    > 
    >     Details are:
    > 
    >     17h27m09.2s UT RA 07h04m03.0s  Dec -24d57'47" (J2000)
    >     17h27m10.2s       07 04 26.3       -24 47 01
    >     17h27m11.1s       07 04 51.6       -24 35 49
    > 
    >     Mag about +10 and variable. Suspect its debri.No chance of getting
    >     it again.
    
    You may have stumbled upon the rocket body of XSS-11. Fitting a circular orbit
    to your first and last point yields this result:
    
    1 70000U          05172.72718981  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0    08
    2 70000  99.0018 165.1552 0000100   0.0000 322.3023 14.09821784    01
    
    which is consistent with the search elset I posted at the time of the launch:
    
    http://satobs.org/seesat/Apr-2005/0104.html
    
    The std magnitude of the rocket should be about 7.6 (1000 km, 90 deg phase
    angle), which is in good agreement with your observation. I suspect the payload
    is about as bright as the rocket.
    
    My guess is that the payload may still be in or near the same orbit, so a
    comprehensive planar search on the above orbit may yield both objects.
    
    Ted Molczan
    
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