Re: Triple conjunction

Bjoern Gimle (
Tue, 11 Feb 1997 07:31:58 +0100 (MET)

Russell Eberst detected :
>Around February 17.0, the two large Zenit rockets 85-97B (16182) and
>88-102B (19650) will pass close to each other, in nearly co-planar
>orbits. About 1 minute ahead of this pair, also in a very similar orbit
>will be found 84-106B (15334). Although observation is rather restricted,
>since Northern Hemisphere visibility will be possible only fairly close
>to northern apex - 71deg., it may be of interest to determine just how
>close these three rockets get.

I have added charts and text to my "encountr.htm" page.
Here is most of the text:

As Russell Eberst has posted, the Cosmos 1603/1697/1980 rockets will be
close to one another on Feb.16-18. They will be moving almost like a NOSS
triplet on the night of Feb.17-18, UT.

As a small rehersal, #23088 Cosmos 2278 rk will cross the orbit of #19650
on Feb.13 03:39 UT at 5 km distance, and #16182 on Feb.14 at 00:52 UT at
9 km distance.
Unfortunately, few if any SeeSatters will get an overhead pass, because
of shadow entry at about 44S, with exit at 66N.

#16182 will overtake #19650 at 21:43 on Feb.16 near the southern apex, at a
distance of about 5 km, and at 03:39 near the northern apex, also at about
5 km, according to Rob Matson's COLA.
The long time span is because of their differences in ascending node,
excentricity, and argument of perigee, and small difference in mean motion.

#16182 will overtake #15334 at 19:46 on Feb.17 at about 23 km cross-track
distance, and #19650 will follow at 11 km cross-track one minute after
midnight Feb.17-18.

I will try to update these values later this week, but I will leave for
Madeira Feb.17-24 (where I hope to see HST and STS-82, and MPF rk)

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