NROL-34 observation reports received; elements updated

From: Ted Molczan (
Date: Mon Apr 18 2011 - 22:05:16 UTC

  • Next message: Bram Dorreman: "Satobs BD (4160) 2011-04-18"

    Bram Dorreman has reported observing what appears to be the NROL-34 NOSS pair, on 2011 Apr 18 just prior to 20:07 UTC.
    They were very close in time to the 79936 revised search elset I posted earlier today. As expected, the plane was
    several degrees off.
    I have adjusted the RAAN and mean anomaly of 79936 to fit Bram's observation of the leading object.
    1 79936U 11014A   11108.81132140  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0    05
    2 79936  63.4167 343.3641 0132437 179.7269 180.3850 13.39700000    06
    No doubt, there is some error in the mean motion, so predictions will not be exact, but I hope this will be sufficient
    for observers to easily locate the object.
    I will adopt the official 37386 catalogue number for the leader once we have reasonably reliable elements for it.
    The trailing object was about 15.6 s in time behind the leader, which is likely slowly growing. I plan to produce an
    elset for it once an additional observation becomes available. I suggest reporting observations of the trailer with the
    COSPAR ID 11014B, and catalogue number 79937.
    As I was about to send this message, Marco Langbroek reported his suspected observation of one of the NROL-34 NOSS, made
    at the same time as Bram's, which appears to match the leader (11014A). Both positions were close in track to the above
    orbit, but the first one was ~10 S early, and the second one ~9 S late, indicating that the times corresponding to both
    ends of the image trail needed to be swapped; doing so resolved the discrepancy.
    Ted Molczan
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