RE: an object to keep us guessing?

From: Ted Molczan (
Date: Tue Oct 26 2010 - 11:18:12 UTC

  • Next message: Greg Roberts: "Optical 25 Oct 2010"

    Ed Cannon wrote about 2010-036B, 36829, CZ-3A R/B: 
    > The thing is, it was pure luck that we
    > saw it.  The elements Mike had used for
    > his predictions were wrong, but just by
    > accident -- coincidence -- they gave 
    > predictions that were only two minutes
    > late from when it actually appeared, 
    > and we happened to look early enough.  
    > The reason we lucked out was because 
    > the elements were wrong by almost 
    > exactly one orbit!  They are having 
    > trouble tracking the object.
    The current elements place its perigee just 118 km above the Earth, but judging by the variation
    evident over the elset history, the uncertainty probably is several tens of kilometres. Whatever the
    value, Mike's int2 propagator indicates that lunisolar perturbations will push it quite a bit lower,
    by the end of the year; I doubt it will survive much beyond 2011 Feb.
    > So I thought I'd mention it, in case
    > someone else might want to try to see
    > it, as it will have a fairly short 
    > time in orbit and because good orbital
    > elements for it may be hard to come 
    > by.  Some may even be interested in 
    > practicing positional observing on it?
    Positional observing is best practiced on something in a stable, well-predicted orbit, but it might
    provide good practice for finding poorly-predicted objects, which is a need that arises fairly
    > Oh, also, I wanted to mention it as
    > a bright object that might show up as 
    > an unid that would be difficult to 
    > identify, due to inaccurate orbital 
    > elements.
    That is good to know.
    > But maybe they will get 
    > better at tracking it as its mean
    > motion speeds up?
    I doubt it.
    Ted Molczan
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