Saw THREE objects from Atlas launch

From: Daniel Deak (dan.deak@sympatico.ca)
Date: Mon Sep 10 2001 - 01:11:40 EDT


Hi Ted and list,

I just observed not two but three objects from the Atlas launch.
I was watching with my 20x80 in a region in Ursa Minor using a prediction made
with the elset :
USA 160 r       10.1  3.0  0.0  3.0 v
1 75025U          01252.43125000  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0    07
2 75025  63.4300 296.3000 0000001 180.0000 180.0000 13.42000000    06

Two other people were watching with 7x35 binos to notify me of incoming objects.
They easily saw the first two. Unfortunately, as it has been the case on some
occasions, my stopwatch malfunctioned and I've not been able to get a precise
fix in time. But I did get positional readings and time interval between the
first two objects.

All objects were on a slightly higher elevation than predicted. The first object
passed at RA 15h 02.5min and dec. +77 deg 05 min. The second at RA 15h 03.5min
and dec. +77 deg 15 min. They looked quite on time with prediction. The third
and unexpected one was trailing about 5 or 6 seconds behind the second one. The
exact spacing between the first and second was 2 min 26 sec.

About the magnitudes, the first and second were about the same brightness but
the second was a little bit brighter. I would guess mag. 4 for the first and 3.5
for the second. The third was definitely fainter as the other two people didn't
see it. I would put it at around mag. 6 or 7. I was in a light polluted sky with
a lot of humidity in the air.

The second and third objects were on the same trajectory, a few arc minutes
higher than the first.

I'm quite frustrated by the performance of my 15 year old stopwatch. I looked to
buy another one this summer but was unable to find something worth to buy in
town. :-(

I hope this data will be of good value anyway.

Obs made from 45.8681 N, 72.5133 W, 75 m.

Dan
-- 
Daniel Deak
representant, projet spatial Starshine
Drummondville, Quebec

COSPAR site 1746 : 45.8537N, 72.4857W, 90 m., UTC-4:00

Site en francais sur les satellites:
French-language satellite web site : http://www.obsat.com

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