Satellite identification program for astrometrists

From: Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Date: Mon Mar 17 2003 - 23:07:15 EST

  • Next message: David Brierley: "DMB Obs Mar 14"

    This software, "Satellite identification program for 
    astrometrists" could be of use to folks who (might) put 
    positional observations into the Minor Planet Center 
    format:
    
    http://www.projectpluto.com/sat_id.htm
    
    Note that there's a link to the source code.  (I wonder 
    if it includes a couple of SGP4 corrections discussed 
    here a few years ago.)
    
    The site mentions Ted Molczan's program IDSat.
    
    Regarding the item that crashed through the roof of a
    house in Ohio, I had intended to mention that the site
    is not far from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, FWIW.
    
    As to any photos of the object, apparently neither the 
    finders nor the Dayton newspaper got one before the 
    object was impounded by the local police.
    
    I guess I think that this object is probably something
    internal to a jet engine where high temperature is 
    normal, although I tend to believe that at least some 
    some artificial space debris objects could do similar 
    damage.  How many objects that we launch into space are 
    so dense?  What is the terminal velocity of an object 
    like Ted estimates, at 300 meters above sea level?  What 
    would its momentum be?  (I'm mathematically challenged.)  
    I have a polished brass cube that's 5cm (2 inches) on a 
    side and weighs 2kg, and it seems to me it would pack a 
    significant wallop if it fell very far.  
    
    Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas, USA
    
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