3 Sat

jim.varney@24stex.com
Sun, 23 Jul 95 19:42:48 -0800

Hello Fellow Sat-watchers...

Last night I enjoyed watching a "satellite conjunction": two
naked-eye satellites travelling side-by-side across the sky.
Their visual separation was about 5.5 degrees.  The two
satellites I saw were

Cosmos 1892 r    7.4  2.4  0.0  5.5
1 18422U 87088  B 95180.22960368  .00000020  00000-0  27595-5 0  3053
2 18422  82.5134 108.5473 0022341 132.4470 227.8642 14.77825529414429
Okean 3          6.0  2.0  0.0  5.9
1 21397U 91039  A 95183.18826451  .00000162  00000-0  23252-4 0  1152
2 21397  82.5244 105.0329 0024397  97.8691 262.5292 14.76381962219573

At the time of observation, the altitude of 91- 39A was 652 km and
the altitude of 87- 88B was 641 km.  Using the law of cosines,
I estimate that the actual separation of the two satellites was only
63 km!

Now here's the kicker: a third naked-eye satellite, travelling in the
opposite direction, approached and "split" the pair!  So, for a moment,
there was a "triple satellite conjunction."

Can anyone deduce the identity of the third satellite?  It would be
interesting to determine the actual physical separation of this
object from the other two.

The particulars:  Long 121 23 54 W   Lat 38 27 28 N  Elev 8 meters
                  Date July 23 1995 UT   Time 05:24 UT

Happy Observing,


+------------------------------------------------------------------------+
Jim Varney, P.E.                                           Sacramento, CA
Civil Engineer                                      jim.varney@24stex.com
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