Re: magnitude question Agena-D

From: Ralf Vandebergh (
Date: Tue Aug 31 2010 - 08:16:23 UTC

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    Yesterday evening (West-European time) I succeeded for the first time to grab some High Res frames of the Thor-Agena 1964-002-A. I was awaiting the rocket actually at 19:55 UT in the upper-left corner of Hercules but the object appeared about a minute over time or more. (I can provide exact time difference data after the frame-selection process). The path was exactly as predicted by both Calsky and Heavens above, the magnitude appeared to be closest to what Calsky predicted (mag 4.8) but here it comes; it flared shortly slightly up at about culmination to around mag 4.2 and at this point the more optimistical Heavens-above predication came closest. When the flare appeared, it looked like it would gonna show a regular pattern, but after the flare, brightness looked fairly steady again. Thanks to this 'culmination-flare' I was actually able to capture it, as mentioned before this is an object likely at the limit of what is obtainable at the used imaging/resolution scale in the fixed system. This evening however, I will have another chance for a 10 higher and little brighter pass. Therefore, I will wait to processing after having more frame-comparison to estimate any interpretation.
      ----- Original Message ----- 
      From: Ralf Vandebergh 
      Sent: Tuesday, August 24, 2010 10:50 AM
      Subject: magnitude question Agena-D
      Hi all,
      The comming days I will be hunting to capture HR images of an Agena upper stage Agena D Rocket
      (00733 1964-002-A). which will be passing a few days favorably from my location.
      Problem is I get 2 different magnitude-predications. Calls-sky predicts mag 4.4 and Heavens Above says mag 3.7.
      Generally it appears, the Heavens above predications are considerably more positively.
      I would like to hear from earlier observations of this object to get an impression which of the 2
      predictions is more realistic.
      The reason that this is important for me is, that it makes a lot of difference and difficulties in the settings
      for the used imaging-setup in the case if it is fainter then mag 4.0 - 4.1.
      Thanks for any help,
      Best wishes,
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