Re: 98001 found

Mike McCants (
Wed, 24 Feb 1999 20:48:52 -0600 (CST)

Hi Rob,

>Fortunately, I timed its conjunction with a dim star (mag 7.36):

That's not a "dim star" (in an 8-inch).  :-)

>This information should be sufficient for one of our experts
>to refine the orbit.

Yes, but since none of them are currently available, I'll give it a try:

1 98001U          99055.13914366  .00000000  00000-0  00000+0 0    01
2 98001   4.3200  58.4266 0012000  85.6064 274.3935  1.00274000    09

Thanks for the observation, Rob.  I have not been able to see it
since we went off daylight "savings" time since it doesn't flash
until after my bedtime.  :-)

(Rob should mention that it flashes to about 6th ot 7th magnitude
every 2.5 seconds from about 3:45UT until about 4:30UT.)

It does drift slowly to the east until they boost it into a slightly
higher orbit.  Then it drifts slowly to the west until it stops and
starts drifting slowly east again.  It stays within a degree or two of
the same longitude.

While I have the soapbox, I would like to put in a "plug" for

Centaur Rk       8.6  3.0  0.0  3.5 v
1 25035U 97068B   99016.92061084  .00000000  00000-0  00000+0 0    02
2 25035  64.5800 281.1640 7023000 265.4800  94.1617  2.02916000    07

This Centaur rocket flashes every second and when it comes over the 
US in the evening sky at only 5000 miles, it's quite spectacular.

But I must admit that this elset is in error.  I observed it to be
about 5 minutes early compared to this elset (and a little east), but I
have not taken time to revise the elset.

The best passes are already occurring for the West Coast, with more favorable
passes to the east over the next week.

Mike McCants