Re: Magnitude observations

From: Bram Dorreman (
Date: Sat Jul 10 2004 - 19:44:44 EDT

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    I am not an analyst, but I am the PPAS observations collector.
    The PPAS is intended to be a collection of observations of
    satellites with a variablity in (stellar) magnitude due to
    rotations. Hence it should not be the place (IMHO) for reporting
    steady objects, unless it concerns objects which were not steady before. A
    regular check to see whether an object started tumbling again is nice. If
    steady it should only be mentioned briefly.
    Since a couple of years ago I separate the observations which do not report
    a flash period in a separate file which then contains qualitative
    observations, not quantitavie observations.
    However I think reporting of steady objects is useful in case one
    likes to determine the standard magnitude as you alreay mentioned.
    I suppose the real magnitude analysts need to know the location of
    the satellite with respect to the sun and the observer in order
    to determine the phase angle. Therefore one can judge that the reporting of
    position is important too.
    So I suggests the following items should be in such an observation report:
    1. date and time of observation
    2. location of observer (lat/long or COSPAR site number or observer's
    initials like used in the PPAS)
    3. either position of satellite or phase angle
    4. the estimated magnitude
    There are possibly more items one can think of.
    I hope more observers inform us about their opinion.
    Happy observing anyway.
    Bram Dorreman
    Collector PPAS observations
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Daniel Deak" <>
    > Hi all,
    > I have a question for the analysts on the list.
    > What is the best format to use for reporting simple satellite magnitudes
    > observations like the ones I made on July 4 UTC. I'm sure there are some
    > satellite observers that would like to contribute some useful data to
    > but are not interested on positional or flash period measurements. The
    goal here
    > is to format the data in a way it could be used to determine the standard
    > magnitudes of satelites.
    > I guess the best way would be to use the PPAS format without the flash
    > info ? What information is essential to permit standard magnitude
    > ?
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