Re: Observing USA 193 - tips for beginners

From: Monte Allaman (
Date: Mon Feb 18 2008 - 01:13:02 UTC

  • Next message: John A. Dormer 2: "USA 193 not seen (sky probably too bright)"

    Sorry I don't have solid times for y'all, Sun was just setting and didn't 
    know if i'd see it. Went off of heavens above and it was pretty close. 
    6:55ish it
    was high and gone before 7  central time.
    Moving fast and a little brighter than the North star.  Fun to see something 
    out of
    the ordinary.  Not that ISS/Mir/Shuttle are ordinary but this thing was 
    Monte A,
    Mckinney Texas.
    ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: "Gerhard HOLTKAMP" <>
    To: <>
    Sent: Sunday, February 17, 2008 4:14 PM
    Subject: Re: Observing USA 193 - tips for beginners
    > On Saturday 16 February 2008 16:13, Allen Thomson wrote:
    >> > Assuming the first kill attempt will take place around 1300 GMT on
    >> the 21st
    >> Reading the various entrails that have appeared in the press, I'd
    >> expect the intercept to occur on a descending pass west of Hawaii, but
    >> close enough that the space surveillance site on Maui will have a
    >> fairly high-elevation look at the event. Probably it will happen as the
    >> satellite is rising as seen from Maui (to the northwest) so that the
    >> first few minutes of the evolution of the debris cloud can be imaged.
    > I was wondering about that. At 1300 UTC on 21-FEB-08 USA 193 would be in
    > darkness so the Maui site would not be able to do visual observations.
    > Wouldn't it be better to use an ascending pass during daylight? A few 
    > minutes
    > after passing the Hawaiian islands the debris cloud would pass over the 
    > North
    > American continent and then be able to be tracked by all the radar they 
    > have.
    > Over the next consecutive orbits they then pass North America again for 
    > more
    > tracking of the debris cloud. They would also be within range of special
    > radar and optical sites often used by NASA space debris investigations. 
    > Thus
    > you could make a very valuable assessment of the breakup of the satellite
    > which would be of much interest to the military (but also to civilian 
    > space
    > debris research).
    > If on the other hand you use a descending pass the first stations properly
    > equipped to asses the debris cloud would be stations in Russia (both 
    > optical
    > and radar). I wouldn't mind that scenario as it would give observers in
    > Europe an earlier look at it!
    > Gerhard HOLTKAMP
    > Darmstadt, Germany
    > -------------------------------------------------------------------------
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