unid LEO

From: Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Date: Sun Jul 04 2004 - 18:08:46 EDT

  • Next message: Ted Molczan: "RE: unid LEO"

    Last night after TOPEX and before ATEX, when I looked for 
    Landsat 5, I saw one going in a different direction (pretty 
    much straight down).  This weekend I'm house-sitting in 
    Dripping Springs, Texas (30.190N, 98.086W, 275m).  Findsat 
    using alldat.tle yields no good match.  
    The object was about +4 at first (which probably would have 
    been visible without binoculars from here last night) but 
    was about +5 by this fairly good position:
    2004-07-04 03:58:34.5 RA 21:35 Dec +71.5 (2000) or maybe
    2004-07-04 03:58:34.5 RA 21:40 Dec +71.0 (2000)
    I'm just using the Bright Star Atlas 2000 at the moment.  
    FWIW, a possible prior position, between two stars which I 
    may be able to confirm tonight, was:
    2004-07-04 03:58:20 RA 19:55 +68.5 (2000)
    Of course I assumed, as always, that it was a known object 
    and so didn't worry too much about it at the time.
    TOPEX (92-052A, 22076) reached +1.5 magnitude last night for
    at least 30 seconds and was easy without binoculars for much
    Just before the normal summer night clouds arrived, I saw a 
    notable pairing, with the follower overtaking the leader 
    during the pass:  Cosmos 860 (76-103A, 09486) in the lead at 
    first, then passed by Cosmos 723 (75-024A, 07718).
    Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas, USA
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