Southern Hemisphere geosat flare season

From: Greg Roberts (
Date: Fri Apr 06 2007 - 06:01:45 EDT

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    Subject:  "Red Dot" Observations in the Southern Hemisphere
    This is part of the Southern hemisphere geostationary flare
    program of Jeff Umbarger. His assistance and advice has
    been invaluable as well as the contributions from Bjorn Gimle
    and Rod Austin. I propose to observe every night until the
    "flare" season has passed.
    Equipment: CoSaTrak 1 50mm f/1.8 lens with MINTRON
    surveillance camera integrating for 128 frames (=2.56s
    exposure). Mount track on shadow entry point ( approx
    RA12h50m Dec +05deg. Field of view of camera 6.8 x 5.4
    degrees, star limit magnitude approx +8.5 mag on 03 April
    (due to full moon) and about half a magnitude fainter
    on 04 April 2007.
    05 April 2007
    SatName       Cat No. Time(UT)    RA (J2000) Dec    Notes
    ------------ ------- --------- -------------------- -----        
    Thaicom 5     #29163 18h24m30s 12h59m17s +05d02'24"  1
    Kalpana 1     #27525 18h43m20s 12h59m12s +05d08'18"  2
    Syracuse 3A   #28885 20h30m41s 12h48m47s +05d25'26"    
    Intelsat 12   #26590 20h39m15s 12h48m01s +05d22'30"     
    90013         #90013 20h42m40s 12h47m24s +05d32'56"  3
    SeSat 1       #26243 21h14m40s 12h43m20s +05d26'04"
    E-Bird?       #27948 21h26m06s 12h41m47s +05d27'14"  4 
    Eurobird      #26719 21h45m03s 12h39m50s +05d25'32"
    Inmarsat 3F5  #25153 21h59m07s 12h37m33s +05d28'49"
    1. Two Thaicom satellites in a cluster-one bright 
       and other faint- dont know which one is which.
       Sorry- have been spelling name wrong -apologies 
       to Thailand.
    2. Kalpana 1 and Insat 3C close together-not sure 
       of identity 
    3. #90013 is a classified US military geostationary.
       It showed its normal brightness and actually 
       approached from the left of the "central line" - 
       the line on which geostationary satellites with 
       inclination = 0 degrees follow. It went into 
       shadow before crossing this line so makes it the 
       first-I think-satellite on the left hand side 
       that I have seen during this project. 
       Inclination = 7.3 degrees.
    4. Very difficult - clouds/cirrus.
    Many other geostationary satellites seen but not 
    possibleto get shadow entry details due to MUCH 
    cloud and rather thick cirrus. I now propose to 
    go to a 200mm lens, with four times smaller field 
    of view, but this will give an extra 3 magnitudes 
    gain which should make matters a bit easier - 
    also will be able to see the other geostationaries
    that were too faint to be shown using the 50mm lens.
    Milstar 5 also seen and appeared to be its "normal"
    brightness. None of the Soviet/Russian satellites 
    in the area were seen - Ekrans/Radugas etc.
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