Re: Magnitude observations

From: Edward S Light (
Date: Sun Jul 11 2004 - 11:40:01 EDT

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    On Sun, 11 Jul 2004 01:53:53 -0400 "Ted Molczan" <>
    ... stuff deleted ...
    > For frequent reports of many accurate observations, it may make sense
    > to develop a special format.
    As a first cut, here's a proposed format which seems to include all the
    information needed to deduce the standard (or intrinsic or whatever)
    magnitude of a satellite (shamelessly cloned from the PPAS format
    Column   Data
    01-08    COSPAR-identification of the satellite in the format
             yy-nnncc. yy is the year of launch, nnn is the number
             of the launch (only contains significant numbers and
             is right justified), cc is the piece of the launch (contains
             non-numeric characters). e.g. '00- 25 C' was launched in
             2000 as the third component of that year's 25th launch.
    10-17    Date (UTC) of observation in the format yy-mm-dd. Here all
             figures are given (even non-significant numbers).
             e.g. '04-07-11' is July 11 in 2004.
    19-28    Time of the observation in the format hh:mm:ss.t , given
             in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Depending on the
             accuracy with which the time was measured, the time can be
             incomplete.  Alternatively, the time may be given in this
             format : hh:mm.t. This gives hours, minutes and tenths of
             a minute and may be used to show that the timing accuracy
             is lower than 1 second. Examples: 08:54:03  or 08:54.1
    30-32    An abbreviation of the name of the observer.
    34-39    Observed visual magnitude in the form SMM.MM where "S" is
             "-" or "+" (or blank).
    41-44    Estimated uncertainty in the magnitude, in the form "M.MM"
    46-48    Phase angle, degrees (in the astronomical sense of the term
             where 000 = "full" phase, 180 = "new" phase).
    50-55    Range (observer-to-satellite distance) in kilometers.
    57-80    Comments, remarks, etc.
    As an example, an observation I reported earlier today could be coded as:
    00000000 11111111 1222222222 333 333333 4444 444 555555
    12345678 01234567 9012345678 012 456789 1234 678 012345
    00- 25 C 04-07-11 08:54.1    EL   +3.0  0.30 049    279
    Clear and dark skies!
       Ed Light
    Lakewood, NJ, USA
    N 40.1075, W 074.2312, +24 m (80 ft)
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