Centaur "comet" location

From: Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Date: Thu Jan 30 2003 - 05:17:02 EST

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    This is intended to be an attempt at thinking about where
    to look for the expected "comet" from the upcoming Milstar
    launch.
    
    I believe that the comet from the 16 January 2002 Milstar 
    launch was at about longitude 95 west.  If the one now 
    scheduled for Tuesday, 4 February, does about the same, 
    its *azimuth* from any location might be *roughly* similar 
    to that of the following two satellites, which appear to 
    be stationed at about 95 west (I just got elements and 
    ran Ted's Geolong program to check.):
    
    25086 97-078A Galaxy 8i
    27445 02-030A Galaxy 3c
    
    So running predictions for those for your location for 
    that evening should give at least a rough idea of the 
    azimuth of the comet, I think.
    
    From Austin, the comet from the January 2002 launch was 
    higher than the normal geostationary altitude above the 
    horizon.  I believe it was due to the Centaur still being 
    at a somewhat north inclination at the time.
    
    For comparison, here's a list of near-zero inclination,
    near-zero drift payloads from 91 to 101 west longitude, 
    excerpted from Geolong output:
    
    Cat #  COSPAR ID  Name             Incl  Longitude
    26038  1999-071A  Galaxy 11         0.0   91.1 W
    25740  1999-027A  Nimiq             0.0   91.2 W
    26469  2000-046A  Brasilsat B4      0.1   92.1 W
    27632  2002-062A  Nimiq 2           0.1   92.7 W  .20/day drift W
    25626  1999-005A  Telstar 6         0.0   93.1 W
    25086  1997-078A  Galaxy 8i         0.3   95.0 W
    27445  2002-030A  Galaxy 3c         0.0   95.1 W
    24812  1997-026A  Telstar 5         0.0   97.1 W
    21149  1991-018A  Inmarsat II F-2   1.6   98.0 W
    26871  2001-031A  GOES 12           0.4   98.8 W  .32/day drift E
    26298  2000-020A  Galaxy IVR        0.0   99.1 W
    23192  1994-047A  DBS 2             0.0  100.8 W
    25937  1999-056A  DirecTV-1R        0.0  100.9 W
    23553  1995-019A  AMSC 1            0.0  101.1 W
    25954  1999-060A  GE 4              0.0  101.2 W
    26985  2001-052A  DirecTV 4S        0.0  101.3 W
    
    Retired astronaut/senator John Glenn is scheduled to 
    speak in San Antonio that evening.
    
    Hoping for favorable weather.
    
    Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas, USA
    
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