Re: Watch for possible decay

Date: Sun Jun 27 2004 - 12:01:51 EDT

  • Next message: Markus Mehring: "Re: possible decay"

    Thanks to Dan Deak, I realized what I was seeing at 22:51 pm EDT June 26 
    (2:51 UT June 27) when SL-12 went blazing through our northeastern skies. Several 
    dozen people at our star party (Wagman Observatory, 40.626 N, 79.813 W 
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA) got to see their first satellite re-entry. 
    Due to a technical error on my part, I was not anticipating a pass of SL-12 
    at that time. Obviously, it does not matter if a re-entering object is in the 
    Earth's shadow or not, so I should have output ALL passes instead of just the 
    VISIBLE passes :-) But even if I had been anticipating it, it was so exciting 
    that I would not have been able to make any useful observations. All I noted 
    was three bright pieces with the naked eye, several other pieces visible in 
    binoculars breaking off of the main chunk, and reaching 20 or 25 degrees elevation 
    in the northeast. Also, this was about 6 to 7 minutes earlier than predicted 
    with the elsat posted by Ed Cannon (epoch 04178.90776223).
    Amazingly, I and two other of our most active observers have something like 
    80 to 100 years of combined observing experience, yet this is our first 
    satellite re-entry. Time to find a better observing location than continuously-cloudy 
    southwestern Pennsylvania!
    John Holtz
    "People who never look up avoid the cow manure, but that's all they ever get 
    to see."
    In a message dated 6/26/04 5:54:50 PM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:
    > There is a BOZ motor about to reenter (#22273, 1992-088E) with an OIG 
    >  decay at 01:46 UTC. It will fly over the US and southern Quebec just 
    >  reentry between 01:13 and 01:25. If the altitude is low enough, we could 
    >  something.
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