Possible Observation of USA 193 Debris

From: Christian Kjrnet (ckjarnet@broadpark.no)
Date: Sun Feb 24 2008 - 20:10:01 UTC

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    I am back on this list after a period unsubscribed, but I have followed the
    activity here regarding USA 193.
    I was out looking for debris from USA 193 this evening 24 February around
    18:10 UTC and made one possible registration during a 36 degree pass. The
    observed object passed about 30 arc minutes south of the Heavens
    Above-predicted track for USA 193 and 3 minutes and 48 seconds early. Here
    are the detailed information about the observation:
    Scope CPC-800-XLT (8" Schmidt Cassegrain)
    Eyepiece 40 mm / 43 degrees (51 times magnification, FOV 50.3 arcmin)
    Target star: 13 Monoceros (SAO 114034) Mag 4.50
    Prediction based on Heavens Above with TLE from 08050.77400802:
    Predicted passing ca 12 arcmin N of the star at 18:09:45.6 UTC
    Observed object passed ca 18 arcmin S of the star at ca 18:05:48 UTC (+/- 3
    The direction of movement of the object seemed correct through the eyepiece,
    but I did not look for it with binoculars and only saw the object in the FOV
    of the scope. In fact, the passing of the object through the field of view
    happened very quickly and just as I was starting my visual observing and
    came as a great surprise. I looked a few seconds for other objects and then
    checked the time on my watch. Therefore the time may be up to +/- 3 seconds
    wrong. I also was not able to make a comparison estimate of the magnitude of
    the object, but in hindsight, I guess it could be around mag 6 +/-2 (very
    rough estimate). In comparison, the pass prediction of USA 193 had mag 2.1.
    No other objects were seen in the eyepiece through 18:11 UTC.
    I would appreciate if someone could make a TLE based on the last observed
    position of USA 193 (the shootdown?) and this observation. Predictions could
    then be made for this object and tested against future observations in the
    days to come. If this is indeed a piece of debris from USA 193, it will most
    likely decay in 2-3 weeks.
    Best regards,
    Christian Kjśrnet
    Kongsberg, Norway
    59.6408 N  09.6402 E  Alt 176m
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