Astra 1M has now joined the fleet at 19 east.....07054A rotating / tumbling ?

From: T V I (tvinvestigations@yahoo.co.uk)
Date: Mon Jan 19 2009 - 00:27:40 UTC

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    This evening after  storms yesterday and cloud today we had a short clear spell mid evening.
    
    Conditions were good.
    
    Grabbing the opportunity I managed to image the latest addition to the Astra fleet .. 1M which moved into position just a few hours ago.
    
    As the sky was so clear I then moved half a degree to the west to look for any sign of DSP .
    
    Although I initially thought I had acquired it , in a simailar plane to the Astras , having seen a very bright satellite moving "south" , the target suddenly disappeared , so I continued a spiral search. 
    About fifteen minutes later , I ended up more or less back where I started and again saw a short lived , bright geosat moving quite 
    quickly ( south ), about three degrees inclined.
    
    This time I locked off the position and started the camera running .
    The result is interesting.
    The satellite is definitely DSP 23.
    Rather than the steady mag 12 or so observed on the 13th the bird has now backed off to mag 13 , almost invisible , but , flashing every fifteen minutes.
    
    This is something I have not come across before and assume it is either slowly rotating , or tumbling.
    
    I would appreciate any comments please. 
    
    A low quality video can be found at the foot of the "Recent Obs " page on my website at
    http://satcom.website.orange.co.uk/
    
    The original animation is 10mb and in gif format , but is available on request.
    
    Field of view is 30 arc minutes , exposures 30secs duration per frame.
    
    John
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
          
    
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