Re: 88- 1 B (Cosmos 1908 RB)

Kurt Jonckheere (kjonckheere@unicall.be)
Wed, 10 Apr 1996 18:56:57 +0000

Jim Varney replied:
>>The following objects had a jump in Mean Motion and * MIGHT * accelerate:
>>14760 = 84- 19 B   88-  1 B = 18749(added today!)
>>19922 = 89- 28 B   91- 81 B = 21797
>>-----------------------------------
>>All these objects need to be observed as soon as possible.
>
>Only one hour after I read this message, 88- 1 B made a very good pass
>over my location.  Is that soon enough? :)
88-  1 B 96-04-09 20:10   KJ                      S, +6 rising to +3
88-  1 B 96-04-10 02:42   PM                      S, +6 slowly rising to +5
88-  1 B 96-04-10 04:20   JEV                     S, obs after MM decr
84- 19 B 96-04-10 09:50   PM                      S, +4.5 fading slowly to +6
[I also added observations from Paul Maley].

Fantastic!, after I sent the report I also noticed that it would be visible
and could even observe it... I was disappointed to see it ... Steady.  
Although at the beginning it was rather faint and became brighter later on.  Maybe it indicates a long period, but it can also be a phase effect of course.

>It's a little disappointing that there was no observable change.  Question
>for the TLE experts: could the decrease in mean motion and the negative
>b-star drag term result from an adjustment by USSPACECOM to better fit
>new observations and there was no actual physical change in the orbit?
I've been questioning about this for years: how are the observations of the
object reduced to TLEs?  
If an object is observed from different sites, can this cause a difference 
in TLEs?
If a jump in Mean Motion occurs, can this been flattened in the succesive
elements by a way of integration that is used?  What I mean is that 
a TLE with a certain epoch has to be a kind of an itegration of obs 
around (before of course) that epoch and the TLE is not really instantenous.