Optical 20 Dec 2006

From: Greg Roberts (grr@telkomsa.net)
Date: Wed Dec 20 2006 - 17:14:09 EST

  • Next message: Leo Barhorst: "Re: MEPSI released, flashing observed on nasa tv"

     Observations 20 Dec 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 50mm focal length f/1.8 lens,integrating for 96 frames
     which is equivalent to a max exposure of 1.92 seconds per image.
     However I operated with the ALC (automatic light control) setting on
     which will change the length of the exposure.
    
     Site 0433 : Longitude 18.51294 deg East, Latitude  33.94058 deg S,
     Elevation 10 metres - situated in Pinelands (Cape Town), South Africa
    
    
    
     28888 05 042A   0433 G 20061220202015600 56 15 0941070-500030 39  +045 05
    28888 05 042A   0433 G 20061220202017100 56 15 0938450-494808 39  +050 05
    28888 05 042A   0433 G 20061220202018500 56 15 0936340-493702 39  +062 05
    28888 05 042A   0433 G 20061220202022900 56 15 0929300-490035 39  +065 05
    28888 05 042A   0433 G 20061220202030100 56 15 0917580-475514 39  +066 05
    28888 05 042A   0433 G 20061220202037300 56 15 0906080-463608 39  +068 05
    
    
     Notes:
     --------
     (1) Running about 5 minutes early on elements estimated from yesterdays
        observation - almost missed it - in fact saw another satellite before
        at 20h20m UT ( #12465 an SL-3 R/B) at which point I stopped the orbit
        plane scan to go to the first predicted position where I planned to
        do a track on USA 186.  I saw nothing and that had me worried-
        where was the satellite?    I carried on observing for another 40
        minutes and then came inside and examined the DVD recording. After
        not having seen USA 184 close to the predicted time I was now hoping
        that the bright 3rd mag object seen at 20h20mUT was in fact USA184.
        I was disappointed to discover it was not.   I ran the DVD recording
        a little longer then noticed a faintish satellite appear in the lower
        left corner that disappeared after 2-3 seconds. (satellite travelling
        left to right) that  I could find no match  for it so maybe this was 
    the
        missing  USA184. I turned out all the  lights in my computer room 
    except
        for  the computer monitor and saw  that the satellite actually crossed 
    the
        field of view but very faint  and I managed to get the measurements
        above. The track angle is  correct and Im pretty certain it was
        USA 186 but why so faint -   was I in fact tracking it deep into
        shadow ?
    
     (2) During the evening observed 25 other satellites by chance which I
        will identify tomorrow. I only plan to report any unknowns seen as
        Im too lazy to measure satellites of no real interest to anyone :-))
    
     (3) Guess Ill have to track again tomorrow night to tie USA 186 down.
    
     Cheers - wheres my bed ?!
     Greg
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Subscribe/Unsubscribe info, Frequently Asked Questions, SeeSat-L archive:  
    http://www.satobs.org/seesat/seesatindex.html
    



    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Wed Dec 20 2006 - 21:17:38 EST