Jan 8th 1996-72A observatio

ROB MATSON (ROB_MATSON@cpqm.mail.saic.com)
8 Jan 1997 12:34:30 -0800

Tony and Ted exchanged:

Tony:

12h 37min 51.6 secUTC RA 11h 55min dec -70deg 50
12h 41min 57.8sec UTC RA 5h 52.0 min Dec -20deg 45min
On January 8.
Made from Cospar site 8597 (34.97S, 138.6517E, 150m)

Ted:

Your 12:41 point is close in RA, but about
6 deg too low in DEC. Could you have 
latched onto the wrong object?
Thank you for your report.

Tony:

Time checks out, but since optical characteristics
are those as described which is atypical of
object, the answer is yes. If so the object must
be at similar height to 9672A as it entered shadow
a few seconds after the fix.
------------------

Tony's first point looks very good timewise, but the observed
satellite was about 0.4 degrees north of 72A's predicted position.
Also, as Ted mentioned, the second observed location was 6
degrees north of prediction.  I did a search of close to 5000
objects -- nothing else is even close to 72A's trajectory.
Excluding the possibility of a recent launch for which I don't
have elements, is it possible that 72A has done a plane-change
maneuver?  --Rob