Re: Trail of unknown object on CCD image

From: Paolo (xberardi@tin.it)
Date: Wed Jan 11 2006 - 13:19:01 EST

  • Next message: Bruce MacDonald: "Satobs Site 2751 2006 Jan 11"

    Thank you for your prompt and precise reply!
    
    I find many reports about Rocket you notify. Launched in january 2002, after
    payload (Insat 3C) release, stage # 3 has been left in high eccentric orbit,
    then sometime visible to us. It sounds impressive to see a 11 x 2.6 meters
    cylinder at 38000 Km!!! Neither I did'n count on register a 13.8 mag
    satellite trail, miracle of present technology!
    
    If I could, I would see the passage simulation in private e-mail.
    
    My compliments to you and other mailing list people.
    
    Paolo Berardi
    L'Aquila
    Italy
    
    
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Matson, Robert" <ROBERT.D.MATSON@saic.com>
    To: "Paolo" <xberardi@tin.it>; <SeeSat-L@satobs.org>
    Sent: Wednesday, January 11, 2006 4:14 AM
    Subject: RE: Trail of unknown object on CCD image
    
    
    > Bravo, Paolo!  Your report was excellent and made for easy identification
    of
    > the satellite in your images.  It was 02002B, #27299 -- an Ariane 42L
    rocket
    > body.  Range at the time of your second exposure was 38166 km, altitude
    > 36134 km.  Predicted visual magnitude was +13.8.  I can send you a .GIF
    file
    > privately if you like, showing the predicted transit.
    >
    > Cheers,
    > Rob
    >
    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: SeeSat-L-request@satobs.org [mailto:SeeSat-L-request@satobs.org]On
    > Behalf Of Paolo
    > Sent: Tuesday, January 10, 2006 3:59 PM
    > To: SeeSat-L@satobs.org
    > Subject: Trail of unknown object on CCD image
    >
    >
    > Hi all!
    > This is my first post here. I'm looking for satellite observational
    > site/forum after having noted an unknown trail on my astronomical photo
    with
    > CCD camera.
    >
    > Yes, my main interest is astro-imaging. I'm an amateur astronomer living
    in
    > L'Aquila, a small town close to centre of Italy. I consider satellite
    > observation a fascinating activity too. Moreover, sometimes activities
    > "crossing" are inevitable! Just like what is happened a few days ago.
    >
    > Following a CCD camera recent purchase, I begin a survey principally for
    > test the new equipment, a Starlight Xpress SXV-H9 CCD camera (a very
    > sensitive camera) with a Pentax astrograph (500 mm focal lenght).
    >
    > I find a mysterious trail on two photos of the Great Nebula of Orion (code
    > Messier 42). Both trails direction are on the same alignment, therefore it
    > seems that the object show a change of position between first and the
    second
    > shot. This is the reason to exclude cosmic rays cause (CCD cameras are
    very
    > sensitive to cosmic rays, resulting in a trail when they strike the CCD
    > image sensor at glancing angles).
    >
    > A peculiarity is the relative low angular speed. I find approx 7'/minute
    > (about 1/8 of degree per minute). Then the unknown object is too slow
    > compared to an usual satellite (low orbit type) or an airplane, too fast
    > compared to an asteroid or a so faint comet.
    >
    > Another important observation: on the basis of simple geometric
    > calculations, I find the object had to be at least 15000 Km from earth
    > surface so that it's outside earth shadow and the sun can light up it. In
    > fact the observation time was at about 00:45 local time (unusual moment
    for
    > common visual satellite) and the object was at about 40 degree above
    horizon
    > toward south azimuth.
    >
    > Then, what is the object? I think about high altitude satellite in highly
    > eccentric orbits or geosynchronous transfer orbits (GTO) or mid earth
    orbit,
    > etc.
    >
    > Furthermore I read about several satellite launch on 21 december, the same
    > day of my observations. Here is a list:
    >
    >   COSPAR/WWAS USSTRATCOM  SPACECRAFT              LAUNCH
    >     INT.ID    CAT. #      NAME                   DATE (UT)
    >   ----------------------------------------------------------------
    >    2005-049B    28912    MSG 2                 21 December 2005
    >    2005-049A    28911    INSAT 4A              21 December 2005
    >    2005-048B    28909    Rodnik                21 December 2005
    >    2005-048A    28908    Gonets-D1M 1          21 December 2005
    >    2005-047A    28906    Progress-M 55         21 December 2005
    >
    > May be a Rocket in transfer orbit?
    >
    > I submit this questions to you, I think this is the best place to find an
    > answer! Meanwhile I request an account at Space-Track to retrieve global
    TLE
    > for simulations.
    >
    > Follow all related observational informations:
    >
    > Site coordinate
    > City: L'Aquila, Italy
    > Long.: 13 24' 24" EAST
    > Lat.: 42 20' 05" NORTH
    > Altitude: 700 meters over sea level
    >
    > Photo #2 (complete trail)
    > Date: 21 december 2005
    > Time: U.T. from 23h:45m:46s to 23h:47m:46s (precision +/- 3 sec)
    > Total exposure time: 120 sec
    >
    > Photo #1 (incomplete trail)
    > Date: 21 december 2005
    > Time: U.T. from 23h:43m:38s to 23h:44m:38s (precision +/- 3 sec)
    > Total exposure time: 60 sec
    >
    > I find equatorial and azimutal coordinates (RA, Dec, Alt, Azim) for a
    > specific moment, thanks to the trail crossing over a note star. Star is
    > named SAO 132323 (visual star of apparent magnitude 2.75):
    >
    > Right Ascension (RA2000): 5h 35m 26s
    > Declination (Dec2000): -5 54' 36"
    > Crossing time: U.T. 23h:46m:30s
    > Alt. at crossing time: + 39
    > Azim. at crossing time: 200
    >
    > I don't know the object apparent magnitude, but the CCD sensor is very
    > sensitive, then certainly it's not a very bright satellite.
    >
    > This is the link to my photos, so you can estimate brightness and other
    > feature of the trail:
    >
    > http://www.acvaquila.it/app/sat_track_aq.jpg
    >
    > I Hope this is not an off-topic argument and you find it to be to your
    > liking. Waiting for good news!
    >
    > Best regards and clear sky!
    > Paolo
    >
    > PS: sorry for bad english...
    >
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