Optical 18 Dec 2012 Part 1

From: Greg Roberts (grr@telkomsa.net)
Date: Wed Dec 19 2012 - 12:50:53 UTC

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    Observations 18 Dec 2012
    ------------------------------------
    
    Cosatrak 1 (Computerised satellite Tracking System).
    
    FLI ML8300M CCD camera with mechanical shutter + Trimble GPS
    
    Used with 135mm focal length f/2.8 TAMRON lens.
    Field of view 7.6 x 5.7 degrees.
    Images processed and measured manually.
    
    Site 0433 : Longitude 18.51294 deg East, Latitude -33.94058 deg,
    Elevation 10 metres-situated in Pinelands (Cape Town),South Africa
    
    FOR CLASSFD.TLE:
    ----------------------
    23648 95 038C   0433 G 20121218190440324 55 15 0236292+064724 19
    23648 95 038C   0433 G 20121218190649823 55 15 0238367+065521 19
    25501 98 058A   0433 G 20121218193051553 55 15 0204391+041811 19
    25501 98 058A   0433 G 20121218193148715 55 15 0205034+041921 19
    25501 98 058A   0433 G 20121218193242437 55 15 0206285+042103 19
    26716 01 009B   0433 G 20121218192555054 55 15 0209206+030000 19
    26716 01 009B   0433 G 20121218192707101 55 15 0210318+030330 19
    26716 01 009B   0433 G 20121218192808036 55 15 0211326+030548 19
    29242 06 024C   0433 G 20121218193051553 55 15 0150248+022938 19
    29242 06 024C   0433 G 20121218193242437 55 15 0152209+023206 19
    33491 09 001B   0433 G 20121218193816769 55 15 0133103+055321 19
    33491 09 001B   0433 G 20121218193908456 55 15 0134016+055333 19
    33491 09 001B   0433 G 20121218194005592 55 15 0135002+055454 19
    
    UNKNOWN: about mag +11.5
    ---------------
    99988 12 852A   0433 G 20121218190440324 55 15 0223209+052235 19
    99988 12 852A   0433 G 20121218190547645 55 15 0224301+052247 19
    99988 12 852A   0433 G 20121218190649823 55 15 0225313+052259 19
    
    STRAY:
    ----------------
    EUTE 21A  about mag +12.5
    25673 99 018A   0433 G 20121218190440324 55 15 0223252+052120 19
    25673 99 018A   0433 G 20121218190547645 55 15 0224343+052116 19
    25673 99 018A   0433 G 20121218190649823 55 15 0225365+052118 19
    
    NOTES:
    -------
    (1)Prime purpose was to observe the North Korean satellite and
       try to determine the main tumble period more accurately -
       about 17 seconds. The previous 16 seconds annouced was a
       reasonably rough guess - I still have to go through the video
       recordings of the three high elevation passes observed so far
       to try and get a better estimate as the tumble period could
       be an indication of natural slowing down or "assisted"
       slowing down.  I do not yet subscribe to the theory that the
       satellite is completely dead.
    
    (2) Did a brief search of the areas where Ian Roberts
       (no relation) found two "unknowns" - one of which has been
       identified. Found a possible bright unknown next to EUTE 21A
       so given positions for both objects. I suspect the brighter
       one is the unknown - it may or may not be Ian's unknown.
    
    (3) UFO-9 possibly seen - images wernt that great tonight- either
        seeing poor or focus a bit "off" - rather ill-defined blobs
        which might indicate satellite is flashing whilst producing
        a short not well defined trail.
    
    (4) Did not look for OTV3 as it came over as the North Korean
        satellite passed over and the latter has priority at the
        moment.
    
    (5) Still more satellite fields to go through so maybe a few
        more classified satellites to follow in the next day or so.
    
    Cheers
    Greg
    
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