Re: Clouds Always Lead to Speeches

From: Bjoern Gimle@GlocalNet (Gimle@GlocalNet)
Date: Tue Feb 24 2009 - 17:38:20 UTC

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    Though Brad's summary is quite complete, I'd like to add two specific areas 
    where less accurate observations are required.
    Some of the classified satellites (most notably the KHs) maneuver at more or 
    less expected times. Usually it means they are 1-2 minutes late/day, 
    occasionally up tp 10 min/day!
    Since the visibility area is restricted in latitude, and due to low orbital 
    height, the most active observers can be clouded out for weeks, and the 
    satellite very difficult to find again.
    If other observers can make approximate observations early enough, the task 
    of finding the new orbit is considerably simplified.
    Dead geosats are usually rotating around an almost fixed axis (precessing 
    <1h of RA per annum, and usually near the poles)
    But due to Sun/orbit/observer geometry, the satellite may flash brightly 
    (magnitude <+6) for a few minutes/night only, or daytime, or not at all.
    Finding them is tedious, but once (accidentally?) discovered, nearby 
    observers can improve observations, and when observations from widespread 
    observers, and/or a few months of time, are available, the axis and 
    reflection geometry can be computed, and predictions made to make it easier 
    for all observers.
    ----- Original Message ----- 
    > As far as priority of objects to observe and report, I would say that the
    > items in the classfd.tle is a priority, because as classified objects they
    > are not published publicly except by hobbyists. And there are lots of them
    > that can be tracked by stopwatch and binoculars, some even by eye.
    > However, the issue of accuracy comes up. I would think statistically that
    > several sets of fairly accurate data would be preferable to waiting for
    > someone to "nail" it. ...
    > satellites), and reporting flares from such objects as Iridium, Skymeds,
    > NOSS objects, etc. I personally enjoy most the reports of flashing "dead"
    > geosats and flaring geosats during seasons like the current one. The PPAS
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