Observations of geosync satellites

From: Rainer Kracht <R.KRACHT_at_ABBS.heide.de>
Date: Mon, 1 May 1995 12:43:19 -0400
Observations of geosync satellites

I started to observe geosats on March 1 this year, when the declination
of the sun was nearly the same as that of the geostationary satellites
as seen from my site (+9.6626 east long./+53.7695 north lat./9m). I use a
Dynamax 8" SCT (200 mm), my observation sky is moderately bright with
naked eye stars to mag 4.5 (only occasionally mag 5.5).

On March 25 I found the flashing DFH-3 (94-80A, 23415). Two days later I
observed it again near alpha Hya. Clouds terminated the observations of
DFH-3, but about one hour later the sky was clear again and I returned to
the vicinity of alpha Hya. There I found an unknown geosat (of mag 10.5),
which showed a slow drift to the southeast. The next days I found it again
and could derive an orbit.

When I followed the unknown object on April 24, a very slowly moving
satellite crossed the path of the unknown. Closest approach (about
10 arcseconds) was at 21:43:16.72 UTC. I decided to follow the new object,
which was about mag 10.0. It turned out to be another unknown geosat with
an even greater inclination and eccentricity.

The groundtrack of the first object was centered at 331.6 to 331.2 deg
east longitude in April, so I called it GEO331. The second object is
stationed over approx. 347.1 deg east longitude (GEO347). Elsets for
both objects:

1 99331U          95117.00000000 -.00000110  00000-0  00000+0 0    03
2 99331   1.3344 337.2278 0130971 183.4799  25.0139  1.00262571    00
1 99347U          95117.00000000  .00000000  00000-0  00000+0 0    07
2 99347   8.4229 332.5570 1445014 255.0748 333.7497  1.00269578    08

Rainer Kracht
Received on Mon May 01 1995 - 17:53:42 UTC

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