97-068B/25035/USA 136 Centaur Rk

From: Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Date: Sat Aug 17 2002 - 16:48:39 EDT

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    Thanks to Mike McCants, the last two nights I've been able to
    see the USA 136 Centaur Rk (97-068B, 25035) with my 10x50s.
    Mike measured its tumble period at 1.21 seconds.  The brightest
    maxima may have been +6.0, more or less.  It's running about
    35 minutes or so late on the latest released elements (that I 
    have at the moment):
    USA 136 Cent r   8.6  3.0  0.0  3.5 v   20
    1 25035U 97068B   02174.63143852 0.00001487  00000-0  17386+0 0    08
    2 25035  64.1363 133.1781 7204708 250.1326 109.8674  2.02929718    06
    However, here are estimated current elements for it, produced 
    by Mike's Int2 program; it should be within a minute or two of 
    these tonight:
    USA 136 Cent r   8.6  3.0  0.0  3.5 v   20
    1 25035U 97068B   02230.65970412 -.00001059  00000-0  00000+0 0    04
    2 25035  64.1577 125.7187 7248331 249.6355    .0000  2.02935203    06
    For newbies, this is a high-altitude, highly-eccentric-orbit 
    object for which we have no official elements.  Due to its 
    slow motion over much of a pass (except near perigee in the 
    far southern hemisphere, of course), having a position off a 
    minute or two at a range of several thousand kilometers is 
    not a severe hindrance if you have a field of view of a least 
    a couple of degrees (e.g., Mike's 12x80 finder scope, which 
    has a 3-degree FOV).  I'm not at all good at getting 
    positional measurements, but I may try on this one tonight -- 
    if I can find it.  (It should be bright enough in spite of 
    the moonlight.)
    USA 102?  Björn Gimle sent me SkyMap output that tends, as 
    best I can tell, to confirm (no surprise!) that I saw DMSP 
    B5D2-5 (20978, 90-105A) last night, not USA 102.  Thanks, 
    Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas, USA
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