Observations of geosat past equinox from 51 degrees north

From: Bram Dorreman (bram.dorreman@skynet.be)
Date: Thu Jan 02 2003 - 13:06:10 EST

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    Hello fellow observers and othe rinteresting people.
    
    First I must not forget to wish you all prosperity and many interesting
    observations for coming year.
    
    Thanks to some days off between Christmas and New Year I had some
    time to process my observations on geostationary satellites during
    the "flaring" days before or after the equinox.
    
    Concerning period is after the autumn equinox in 2002 from my
    regular observation location:
    COSPAR 4160 (Achel 1):
    51 16' 45.5" N (51.2793 N),
     5 28' 36.6" E ( 5.4768 E)
    
    The observations are date and time ordered.
    The columns are:
    - original log time (hh:mm UT)
    - international satellite designation (yyyy-nnnc)
    - maximum brightness estimation
    - minimum brightness estimation
    - name or note a) thru h)
    - UT of observation
    - Right Ascension of observation
    - declination of observation
    Last three values were input to program FINDSAT to identify.
    
    If you copy and paste following table with font Courier New to
    another document, you 'll have a properly formatted list.
    
         Int.design. max min    notes           UT       RA    decl
                     mag mag                 hh:mm:ss hh mm.mm   
    2002-10-09
     20:40 2002-029A 5.0     Express A4      20:40:00 00 47.0  -7.40
     20:53 unk       8.0     a)              20:52:48 00 47.0  -7.40
     21:30 2001-011A 8.0     Eurobird        21:30:00 00 47.0  -7.40
     21:30 unk       8.0     b)              21:30:00 00 47.0  -7.40
     21:35 1996-040A 7.5     Arabsat 2A      21:35:00 00 40.4  -7.66
     21:42 1994-070A 8.0     Astra 1D        21:43:10 00 40.78 -7.34
     21:57 1998-063A 7.8     AfriStar        21:57:00 00 40.78 -7.34
     22: 5 unk       8.3     c)              22:05:00 00 40.65 -7.38
    
    2002-10-10
     20:23 2000-068A 7.5     Europe*star F1  20:23:30 00 55.37 -7.12
     20:39 unk       7.5 9.0 d)e)            20:38:45 00 55.55 -7.27
     20:43 2002-029A 8.5                     20:43:30 00 55.55 -7.27
     21:17 unk       8.0     f)              21:21:29 00 40.32 -7.70
     21:17 2000-081A 8.5     Astra 2D        21:21:49 00 40.90 -7.25
     21:39 1994-070A 6.5                     21:39:10 00 40.68 -7.35
     21:43 unk       8.5 inv f) g)           21:43:28 00 40.20 -7.76
     21:53 1998-063A 8.0                     21:53:15 00 40.69 -7.34
     22: 1 unk       8.0     c)              22:01:00 00 40.67 -7.36
    
    2002-10-17
     20:40 2000-068A 7.5                     20:45:04 01 44.7  -7.24
     21:12 2002-029A 6.0                     21:12:00 01 51.1  -7.18
     21:23 2000-028A 8.0     Eutelsat W4     21:23:00 01 44.9  -7.30
     21:23 2000-019A 6.5     SESat           21:23:00 01 43.8  -7.30
     21:45 2001-011A 8.0                     21:55:04 01 43.8  -7.40
     21:45 2000-054A 7.3     Astra 2B        21:55:04 01 43.8  -7.40
     21:45 1998-050A 7.3     Astra 2A        21:55:04 01 43.8  -7.40
     21:45 2000-081A 8.0                     21:55:04 01 43.8  -7.40
     22: 7 1996-040A  ?                      22:07:23 01 44.2  -7.68
     22:10 1998-006B 7.5     Inmarsat 3-F5   22:10:30 01 43.5  -7.16
     22:25 unk       7.0     c)              22:26:01 01 33.7  -7.42
     22:25 unk       8.0     c)              22:26:01 01 33.7  -7.42
     22:25 unk       7.5     c)              22:26:01 01 33.7  -7.42
     22:25 unk       8.0     c)              22:26:01 01 33.7  -7.42
    
    2002-10-19
     21: 5 2002-029A 6.7                     21:04:50 01 50.2  -7.23
     21:26 2000-028A 8.0                     21:26:30 01 56.0  -7.42
     21:27 2000-019A 6.5                     21:26:30 01 56.0  -7.42
     22: 0 2001-011A 8.0                     22:00:50 01 56.0  -7.42
     22: 0 unk       8.0     b)              22:00:50 01 56.0  -7.42
     22: 9 unk        ?      h)              22:08:35 01 49.9  -7.36
     22:29 unk       7.5     c)              22:28:00 01 43.9  -7.48
     22:29 unk       8.5     c)              22:28:00 01 43.9  -7.48
     22:29 unk       7.5     c)              22:28:00 01 43.9  -7.48
     22:29 unk       8.5     c)              22:28:00 01 43.9  -7.48
    
    2002-10-23
     21:50 1994-070A 6.2                     21:50:53 01 43.7  -7.36
     21:57 1996-040A 8.5                     21:57:20 01 57.8  -7.71
     22:25 unk       8.5     c)              22:12:43 01 43.9  -7.48
     22:25 unk       7.5     c)              22:12:43 01 43.9  -7.48
     22:25 unk       7.5     c)              22:12:43 01 43.9  -7.48
     22:25 unk       8.5     c)              22:12:43 01 43.9  -7.48
    
    2002-10-27
     22:25 unk       8.0     c)              22:31:45 02 18.9  -7.46
     22:25 unk       9.0     c)              22:31:45 02 18.9  -7.46
     22:25 unk       9.0     c)              22:31:45 02 18.9  -7.46
     22:25 unk       8.0     c)              22:31:45 02 18.9  -7.46
    
    Notes:
    a) One of 2000-019A (26243) SESat
              2000-028A (26369) Eutelsat W4
    
    b) One of 1998-050A (25462) Astra 2A
              2000-054A (26494) Astra 2B
              2000-081A (26638) Astra 2D
    
    c) One of 1991-015A (21139) Astra 1B
              1993-031A (22653) Astra 1C
              1995-055A (23686) Astra 1E
              1996-021A (23842) Astra 1F
              1997-076A (25071) Astra 1G
              1999-033A (25785) Astra 1H
              2001-025A (26853) Astra 2C
    
    d) One of 1996-040B (23949) Turksat 1C
              2001-002A (26666) Turksat 2A
    
    e) varying 199.3 s for 100 max, stop time 20:39.5
    
    f) could not identify object
    
    g) varied in mag. very slowly
    
    h) One of 1994-070A (23331) Astra 1D
              1999-009A (25638) Arabat 3A
    
     22:25 unk       8.0     c)              22:31:45 02 18.9  -7.46
    
    General remarks:
    
    Particularly for the group mentioned in note c) it was not
    possible to identify the individual objects. They were visible as
    an almost straight line perpendicular on the direction of motion
    w.r.t. the background). The extreme members of the group were less
    than 1/4 degree of each other.
    Comparing the TLE's did not help, as they all had the same values,
    except a small variation in the mean anomaly. Exception to this is
    2001-025A
    
    For this same group I saw several times 7 spots, two bright, two
    faint. I wonder whether the bright spots were in fact more than
    one object each, with so little separation that they could not be
    resolved. I wish I had had more powerful optical means. I used my
    10 x 60 (mm) binoculars.
    
    These observation sessions give me taste for the more distant
    satellites and therefore I think I better by me a telscope.
    Any suggestions?
    
    I started even dreaming of a Meade Autostar, when I read the book:
    "How to Use a Computerized Telescope" of Michael Covington.
    He describes that this guiding system might be able to follow
    a satellite track by feeding it TLE's.
    
    I suppose this is (far) beyond my financial means.
    
    (Keep in mind that I am not clever with my hands)
    
    Bram Dorreman,
    
    
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