Classified objects obs

From: Daniel Deak (dan.deak@sympatico.ca)
Date: Mon May 21 2001 - 23:20:05 PDT

  • Next message: Vitek, Antonin: "Re: Estimating standard visual magnitude from RCS"

    Hi everyone,
    
    A nice evening of observations, the first real one since last summer for me. I
    tested a new setup with a portable computer and Starry Night astronomy software
    to measure my coordinates right on the spot instead of marking the location of
    the sat on my sky atlas and measuring it later. Here are the observations in IOD
    format, the comments follow :
    
    24680 96 072A   1750 E 20010522013642200 37 25 0056530+592690 68 S+080 07       
    23937 96 029F   1750 E 20010522023444800 37 25 1949910+442330 68 I+080 07       
    26473 00 047A   1750 E 20010522014712500 37 25 1130590+430990 68 S+005 07       
    19460 88 078A   1750 E 20010522025147600 37 25 1023730+243590 68 I+020 07       
    25725 99 023B   1750 E 20010522031120500 37 25 1515960+011090 68 S+067 07       
    23728 95 066A   1750 E 20010522041338400 37 25 2102560+334630 68 S
    
    24680 is USA 129
    26473 is Lacrosse 4
    19460 is USA 32
    23937 is TiPS
    25725 is Milstar 3 Centaur Rk
    23728 is USA 116
    
    Important notice : site 1750 is an unofficial one located at 45.899 N, 72.433 W,
    87 m. My usual site 1746 has bad viewing conditions and I'm gonna move soon to a
    better location.
    
    USA 129 was caught near the end of its pass low in the north.
    Lac 4 was nice and bright, an easy one for beginners.
    
    Tips was observed twice (02:35 and 04:23 UT). Very interesting obs with the
    tether very faint on the first pass (mag. 9) but the lower mass produced many
    mag 6 flashes. The upper one made only a few to mag 7. The lower end of the
    tether was often brighter. On the second pass, almost to our vertical, the
    tether was brighter but hte masses produced less flashes.
    
    The timing on USA 32 is uncertain due to an error in the way I took my time mark
    on the WWV radio. The error could be off by a second or two. This satellite
    caught us by surprise with its optical behavior. I read it could sparkle and
    already witnessed such an effect but not like what I saw tonight. About 30
    seconds before my obs, I took the satellite for an aircraft because of the way
    it was flashing. It really looked like a strobe for a few seconds with flashes
    reaching mag +1 or 0. Then it became steady but fainting slowly.
    
    NOSS 5 G (#14180) was observed and timed but the wind blew my binoculars off
    position and I was not able to reacquire my reference stars since they were in
    the Milky Way.
    
    I recommend observation of the Centaur rocket. It's amazingly bright and slow.
    It is at a high altitude (range was 5000 km) and very easy binocular object.
    
    I hope the analysts on the list won't have problems fitting my obs with the
    known orbits of these objects.
    
    Cheers,
    
    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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