Need Mir Observations

Ron Dantowitz (
Mon, 30 Jun 1997 14:45:49 -0400 (EDT)


If anyone out there is able to time how early or late Mir is running these
days, it would be helpful to our telescopic imaging program.  Mir's orbit
has changed lately, and we cannot seem to get fresh enough elements...

What would be useful: Timing of Mir's closest approach to a star would allow
us to determine the amount of error in a given TLE at that moment (in track
error)... then, with this in hand our system can lock onto Mir and generate
more accurate ("Real") TLEs...  Mir has fluctuated a bit recently, and it
makes it that much more difficult to locate during the daytime...

Interestingly, the other day I was visually watching a Mir pass during the
day, and 80 seconds before we locked onto Mir, I (unexpectedly) saw Progress
M34 preceding Mir in its orbit.  Progress M34 was suprisingly bright despite
being within 30 degrees of the sun!  Mir was also bright, perhaps mag 0 or -1.

Anyways, if anyone with an accurate watch has access to passes they can
time, it would be quite useful.  


-Ron Dantowitz
Museum of Science, Boston