ESA's comet chaser ROSETTA to make a earth flyby on March 4th

From: Ted Molczan (molczan@rogers.com)
Date: Fri Feb 04 2005 - 16:08:05 EST

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    Folks, I am forwarding the appended message on behalf of Rainer Kresken
    (rkresken@t-online.de).
    
    Ted Molczan
    
    
    Dear all,
    
    Here is something to look forward to:
    
    ESA's comet chaser ROSETTA is going to make a earth flyby on march 4th. Perigee
    is at 22:09:28 UTC, about 2000 km above the southern tip of Baja California.
    Best visibility should occur an hour earlier from Africa and Europe, where the
    probe will be high above the horizon at a at least 10th mag.
    
    In order to enable amateur astronomers to observe the flyby, ESA provided up to
    date orbit information to the people of the JPL Horizons system, 
    
    http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/eph   
    
    In the nights before, visibilty is favourable almost anywhere on the planet
    since Rosetta will be approaching from the opposite side of the sun. Since the
    spacecraft will be quite faint during the approach, a CCD equipped telescope
    should be necessary to observe it.
    
    Please find attached links to a groundtrack plot and tabular data describing the
    flyby. Both files were kindly provided by Trevor Morley of ESA/ESOC.
    
    http://www.higashiyama.de/Xchange/Rosetta_groundtrack.jpg
    
    http://www.higashiyama.de/Xchange/Rosetta_flyby.dat
    
    Regards,
    
    Rainer
    
    
    
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