Re: geo observation

From: Vladimir Agapov (
Date: Wed Aug 22 2001 - 09:36:37 PDT

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    > Just wondering if anyone knows the magnitude for the following geo sats.
    > 1966-053D    02217 US     No current elements
    > OPS 9313 (IDSCS 3)        Launched (1966/06/16)
    > 1979-105E    11684 CIS    1459.2   14.5  36304   36170   1.6745
    > SL-12 R/B(2)              Launched (1979/12/28)
    the first one is relatively small satellite (26 faces polyhedron
    with 0.9 m diameter) and it's hard to track. There are 27 sats of
    this type orbiting Earth in near-GEO vicinity. Just 8 of them are
    tracking by the US SpaceCom on a regular basis. TLEs for others 
    distributed through OIG web-server are just estimated 
    ones for search purposes and are not real orbits determined
    from observations. IDSCS has visible magnitude at about 15m and you
    need good instrument to track them. Interesting, that the SpaceCom
    didn't recovered yet most of them despite of a large number of powerful
    optical sensors used for GEO surveillance.
    The second object is a standard upper stage using for launching
    GEO sats by Russian Proton-K launcher. It's a cylinder by 3.7 m
    diameter and 6.29 m length. It has visible magnitude in range 9.5-13
    depending of observation conditions. This tumbling objects
    can be easily observed with CCD-equipped 10-15 cm aperture
    Best regards,
    Vladimir Agapov
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