TJM obs of 2010 Oct 15 UTC

From: Ted Molczan (ssl3molcz@rogers.com)
Date: Fri Oct 15 2010 - 11:35:51 UTC

  • Next message: Brad Young: "BY Obs Oct 15 AM"

    I awoke too early, and found a message from Mike McCants that AEHF 1 (10039A / 36868) was running
    late, indicating that it had manoeuvred. His obs were about 33 s late relative my latest elements. I
    saw that I had a pass in about 90 min, on which it should reach mag 9, so I stayed up to observe,
    and obtained several points of reasonable accuracy; the 3rd and 4th are the least accurate. 
    
    My observations were about 4 h later than Mike's, but it was not much farther behind the latest
    elements - about 38 s - so my guess is that the change in orbit was fairly small, and occurred over
    an extended period - an indication that the HCTs (Hall Current Thrusters) probably had been fired.
    
    As for X-37B OTV 1-1, given the uncertainty in the preliminary elements, and the passage of 2.7 days
    since Greg Roberts rediscovered it, I began watching for it more than 20 min early. I had a
    convenient intercept point about 39 deg above the SW horizon, such that a single group of reference
    stars closely tracked the orbit plane as Earth rotated, so all I had to do was to keep those stars
    in my FOV, and wait for matching candidates. Nearly 30 min after I began, OTV 1-1 appeared, and I
    managed three positions before it passed behind an obstruction. It was 319 s early relative Mike
    McCants' preliminary elements, and 418 s late relative mine.
    
    36868 10 039A   2701 G 20101015075220720 17 25 0231506+021626 16 S+090 05
    36868 10 039A   2701 G 20101015075738870 17 25 0250359+005887 56 S
    36868 10 039A   2701 G 20101015080253500 17 25 0311608-003288 77 S
    36868 10 039A   2701 G 20101015080431120 17 25 0318810-010538 77 S
    36868 10 039A   2701 G 20101015080527890 17 25 0323221-012895 96 S
    36514 10 015A   2701 G 20101015102750220 17 25 0507938-050140 28 S
    36514 10 015A   2701 G 20101015102800850 17 25 0535901-053771 37 S
    36514 10 015A   2701 G 20101015102808750 17 25 0557691-060568 37 S
    
    IOD format: http://www.satobs.org/position/IODformat.html
    
    Site 2701: 43.68764 N, 79.39243 W, 230 m
    
    Instrument: 25 X 100 binoculars
    
    Ted Molczan
    
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