Envisat Obs

From: Cees Bassa (c.g.bassa@phys.uu.nl)
Date: Fri Mar 01 2002 - 17:36:26 EST

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    Hi List,
    
    After seeing the launch this morning I now saw Envisat crossing our Dutch 
    skies. We had two passes this evening, of which I missed the first because 
    of clouds. By the time of the second pass the clouds had departed the sky 
    Envisat would cross and I caught it roughly on the place it had to be 
    though I guestimate it was a minute late to this elset:
    
    1 27386U 02009A   02060.46929290 -.00112148  00000-0 -40148-1 0    62
    2 27386  98.5309 129.0967 0016292 276.4621  83.4766 14.34774504    63
    
    It was less bright than I expected it, about magnitude 3 at a range of 1500 km.
    About two years ago I had the luck to see this satellite up close at the 
    Estec test center in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. It really is huge! It has 
    the size of an autobus and all the shiny copper colored insulation gave it 
    an orange appearance while crossing my skies. The orange color has already 
    been noted by other observers.
    
    I don't know if the low brightness of the satellite is due to its 
    orientation when I saw it, but I sure hope it will turn out brighter during 
    the passes to follow.
    
    Regards,
    	Cees Bassa
    
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