GPS 2F-4 Centaur spotted from Edinburgh

From: Alan Pickup (
Date: Thu May 16 2013 - 09:01:15 UTC

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    I was with a group from the Astronomical Society of Edinburgh in 
    Roseburn Park in the city last night when we saw a very bright swift 
    object, roughly mag -1 or -2 and steady, on a W to E trajectory that 
    carried it a degree or so S of Arcturus at 21:58 UTC. At the time, the 
    star was 52 degrees high in the SSE.
    Subsequently, I identified this as the Centaur second stage of the Atlas 
    5 launch that launched from Cape Canaveral at 21:38. At the time of 
    observation, the Centaur and its GPS 2F-4 payload were coasting in an 
    eccentric transfer orbit for which Space-Track has not published a TLE. 
    Three hours after our observation, the Centaur fired for a second time 
    to circularise the orbit and release its payload.
    Alan Pickup /
    Edinburgh  /
    Scotland  /
    Seesat-l mailing list

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