Optical 17th Feb 2007

From: Greg Roberts (grr@telkomsa.net)
Date: Sun Feb 18 2007 - 11:16:45 EST

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    Observations 17 Feb 2007:
    ----------------------------
    
    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 200mm focal length f/3.5 lens,integrating for 128 frames
    which is equivalent to an exposure of 2.56 seconds per image.
    
    Site 0433 : Longitude 18.51294 deg East, Latitude  33.94058 deg S,
    Elevation 10 metres - situated in Pinelands (Cape Town), South Africa
    
    
    For CLASSIFIED.TLE:
    ----------------------------
    
    11731 80 019C   0433 P 20070217182057500 56 15 0142597-041409 39  +075 05
    11731 80 019C   0433 P 20070217182139200 56 15 0229240+094321 39  +075 05
    11731 80 019C   0433 P 20070217182240900 56 15 0332150+273225 39  +080 05
    90013 03 564A   0433 P 20070217183232300 56 15 0731034+132102 39  +085 05
    90061 06 667A   0433 P 20070217192706700 56 15 0332201-120044 39  +080 05
    90061 06 667A   0433 P 20070217192905100 56 15 0355300-092808 39  +083 05
    90061 06 667A   0433 P 20070217193128000 56 15 0430505-045542 39  +095 05
    90061 06 667A   0433 P 20070217193248900 56 15 0455492-012000 39  +065 05
    90049 05 605C   0433 P 20070217194953500 56 15 0533059+010203 39  +090 05
    90054 95 586A   0433 P 20070217200810500 56 15 0344582+041752 39  +115 05
    90065 06 629B   0433 P 20070217203537300 56 15 0151551-350339 39  +075 05
    90065 06 629B   0433 P 20070217203730100 56 15 0146129-425551 39  +075 05
    90065 06 629B   0433 P 20070217203943600 56 15 0132441-531056 39  +075 05
    90065 06 629B   0433 P 20070217204200800 56 15 0101122-641948 39  +075 05
    
    Strays seen:
    ----------------
    Cosmos 2251  steady
    22675 93 036A   0433 P 20070217191941100 56 15 0232250-163425 39  +070 05
    Cosmos 1904  steady
    18709 87 106A   0433 P 20070217194156000 56 15 0520571+005455 39  +065 05
    Leasat 2 PKM  variable range 12825 kms
    15244 84 093E   0433 P 20070217195715300 56 15 0905198+124434 39  +095 05
    Nadezhda 1
    20103 89 050A   0433 P 20070217204058700 56 15 0122427-595655 39  +075 05
    
    
    Notes:
    -----------
    
    (1) Purpose was to try out 1 200mm f/3.5 lens but conditions very poor
        most of session due to high thick cirrus (?). This lens is about
        0.5 mag more sensitive than the 145mm f/2.5 lens but the smaller
        field of view is a disadvantage.
    
    (2) #90065 still behaving itself. Close to predictions.
    
    (3) #90061 must go through a long deep minima fainter than about mag 12?
        Tried it several minutes before it was observed - correct position-
        and nil seen but a few minutes later it was bright and easy.
        Observed at range 5430 kms.
    
    (4) #90042 not seen for a long time and now cant find #90034- maybe
        it moved in the recent reshuffle of milsat geostationaries.
    
    (5) Still determined to use the 6-inch f/5 for geostationaries-after
        having seen how much brighter they appear in the 6-inch I get
        frustrated trying to see them when they are on the verge of
        invisibility so now busy modifying/assembling for my 4th try at
        using it- will take me another day or so to finish the odds and
        pieces. I want a system that is quick,accurate and hastle free
        and dont want to have to spend many minutes locating each geosat.
    
    Cheers
    Greg
    
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