TDF-1 info

From: Matson, Robert (
Date: Thu Mar 02 2000 - 17:07:16 PST

  • Next message: "Decay watch 25947"

    Hi All,
    Finally got a chance to do some observing last night.  Since
    TDF-1 is getting too low for Ed & Mike, I figured I'd take
    the handoff and get a few measurements before it's too low
    for me in California.
    TDF-1 (#19621, 88-098A) continues to spin up.  Measured period
    was 30.907 +/- .004 seconds.  PPAS format:
    From Newport Coast, CA [33.6028 N, 117.8263 W, 200m]
    TDF-1, #19621
    88-098A 00-03-02 06:25  RM 401.79 0.05 13 30.907  mag +2 --> inv
    As Mike, Ed and Don have indicated, the flashes are a bit
    complicated on this bird -- there are definitely two panels
    that have pointing normals that are only a couple degrees
    apart -- this causes double flashes separated by about 0.3
    seconds for a portion of the flash sequence.  Flashes are
    also visible on the half-period, indicating reflections
    from the back side of one of the panels.
    Using measurements from myself, Ed Cannon, Mike McCants and
    Don Gardner, I've come up with a spin axis of:
    R.A. 14.6809 hours, Dec +62.8945, cone angle 86.35 degrees.
    This axis causes the flashes each night to travel from south
    to north, and occur roughly 12 minutes later each night (as Ed
    and Mike mentioned).  Flashes are currently visible anywhere
    in the western states, starting in California, Arizona, New
    Mexico and western Texas, and ending in northern Canada some
    18 minutes later.  (Southern border of U.S. should start at
    ~6:30 UT on 3/3/2000).  --Rob
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