Obs 06 April 2006-all

From: Greg Roberts (grr@iafrica.com)
Date: Fri Apr 07 2006 - 11:49:17 EDT

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    Observations 06 Apr 2006:
    ----------------------------
    
    Cosatrak 1 (Computerised satellite Tracking System).
    MINTRON low light level CCD surveillance camera (0.005 lux typical
    in non integration mode) and 0.00005 lux in STARLIGHT mode with 128
    frame integration.
    
    Used with 145mm focal length f/2.5 lens,integrating for 128 frames
    which is equivalent to an exposure of 2.56 seconds per image.
    
    Site 0433 : Longitude 18.51294 deg East, Latitude  33.94058 deg S,
    Elevation 10 metres - situated in Pinelands (Cape Town), South Africa
    
    FOR CLASSFD.TLE:
    ====================
    90020 04 539A   0433 G 20060406192302600 56 15 2128264-760623 39  +070 05
    90020 04 539A   0433 G 20060406192442700 56 15 1943555-692639 39  +072 05
    
    
    Unknown :
    =============
    91061 06 096LEO 0433 G 20060406174054000 56 15 0214057-322558 39  +075 05
    91061 06 096LEO 0433 G 20060406174056600 56 15 0216425-312954 39  +075 05
    91061 06 096LEO 0433 G 20060406174058500 56 15 0217420-310446 39  +080 05
    91061 06 096LEO 0433 G 20060406174100400 56 15 0218445-303936 39  +080 05
    
    
    Strays seen :
    ================
    Cosmos 2369 rocket
    26070 00 006B   0433 G 20060406172658100 56 15 0229173-385155 39  +055 05
    Cosmos 1455
    14032 83 037A   0433 G 20060406175038500 56 15 0216541-284950 39  +040 05
    Cosmos 990 rocket
    10677 78 019B   0433 G 20060406180157200 56 15 1925172-815249 39  +040 05
    Globalstar 6
    25307 98 023B   0433 G 20060406183047300 56 15 1747280-792736 39  +070 05
    Cosmos 939   vary, faint
    10282 77 079A   0433 G 20060406183500000 56 15 1718043-792552 39  +080 05
    
    Notes:
    ========
    
    (1) Main idea for this tracking session was to carry out orbit plane
        searches for several lost satellites,however due to excessive cloud
        about this was not achieved. Conditions were good the other side of
        the clouds.
    
    (2) I also hoped to track the IMAGE satellite - this part of the sky was
        clear enough but despite trying for over half an hour I saw nothing,
        so the satellite , at a range of between 34000 and 38000 kilometres,
        is too faint for my system which can, when in "tracking mode" and
        using long integrations, get down to about magnitude +13
    
    (3) #90020 tracked briefly through a small gap in the clouds.
    
    (4) The unknown #91061 was very faint and variable. It was not possible
        to identify the precise ends of the trails produced when it crossed
        the field of view. When my system is in "SCAN" mode the magnitude
        limit for LEO satellites is about +8 and #91061 was at this limit.
    
    (5) Eventually gave in in frustration because of cloud and it "rained"
        shortly afterwards with raindrops falling approximately several
        feet apart!
    
    Cheers
    Greg
    
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