Re: USA 129, the Keystone, and an UNID

Robert Sheaffer (
Mon, 30 Jun 1997 19:50:50 -0700 (PDT)
> Robert Sheaffer wrote:
>               13 degrees south of predicted position>>
> This could help explain why I haven't been able to spot USA 129 in the last
> five tries (using the same element set), although I was looking away from the
> binoculars periodically to see if it was somewhere else. Unfortunately this
> was the featured satellite for my astronomy club this month...oops!  Maybe
> I'll give them ADEOS next month.

Yes, I earlier tried to spot it in binoculars, and failed. This time
it reached naked-eye visibility, and I spotted it in my "one-power binculars."
> For Bruno: The "Hercules Keystone" consists of Pi, Eta, Epsilon and Zeta
> Herculis, so called due to the similarity to the keystone (topmost stone) in
> an arch structure. (The Keystone was featured in my club's Challenge Question
> for this month. Oh well, 0 for 2.)

Then I should stop calling it that, I thought that term referred to the
entire "backwards K" pattern. The path of USA 129 actually passed just
south of DELTA Herculis, which is itself below the keystone. As I said,
it was at least 13 degrees south of its predicted path.

> As for the UNID, I couldn't find this one in the Molczan elements:
> Observing location: approx 41 N 80 W, elevation 200m
> Date: 6-29-97
> Time 0404 UT - passing Gamma Coronae Borealis (RA 15h40.6m Dec +26d27m)
>         0412 UT - passing Epsilon Coronae Borealis (RA 15h55.5m Dec +27d01m)
>         0425 UT - (approx RA 16h25m Dec +29d00m)
>         (1950 coordinates)
> Satellite was approximately mag 11.5 and steady, moving slowly eastward. Came
> across this one in 180x while observing Gamma CrB in 4.5-inch scope. Any
> ideas?

Probably *quite* high up. I don't even worry about ones that faint: I'm
just hoping to get the elements and magnitudes correct for the ones
that we see naked eye!


        Robert Sheaffer - - Skeptical to the Max!
             my new GPS tells me I'm at 37 deg 17.3' N., 
                 121 deg 59.2' west (San Jose, CA) 

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