Re: Magnitude observations

From: Bram Dorreman (
Date: Sun Jul 11 2004 - 19:30:00 EDT

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    Ted's reply:
    > I am able/willing to write the necessary
    > data entry software for use under MS Windows.
    I appreciate Ted's proposal to write the data entry software.
    > 00000 001111111111 22222222 2333333 3334 444 444 555555
    > 12345 789012345678 01234567 9012345 7890 234 678 012345
    > nnnnn yynnncccSite YYYYMMDD HHMMSSs MMmm MMm PPP RRRRRR Remarks
    > 26362 00 25C  1234 20040711 0854060 031  03  049    279
    > Col 01-05 satellite's catalogue number
    > Col 07-14 satellite's international designation
    >     07-08 year
    >     09-11 sequence, right-justified
    >     12-14 piece, left-justified
    > Col 15-18 Site number, right justified
    > Col 20-27 observation date, UTC, yyyymmdd format
    > Col 29-35 observation time, UTC, HHMMSSs format, with no variations
    > Col 37-40 observed magnitude, MMmm format, show leading zero, do not show
    > trailing non-significant zeros. Format accommodates negative magnitudes,
    > placing (-) sign in col 37.
    > Col 42-44 estimated accuracy, MMm format
    > Col 46-48 phase angle, deg (optional?)
    > Col 50-55 range, km (optional?)
    > Col 56-80 Remarks
    I like Ed's and Ted's elaborated magnitude reporting format as presented
    In the current PPAS format the dates and times specify separator characters
    because we (the PPAS team of about 1990) thought that would increase
    readability. However if date and time are separated by at least one space
    these two items are still readable At least to me, so I have no doubt to
    accept this.
    Since about one year I try to accurately estimate satellite magnitudes by
    comparing the satellite with stars. I experience this as not easy, because
    most satellites are moving rather fast and distances between them and
    reference stars are often large. Nevertheless I think it is worth while.
    There are still some questions/proposals:
    I would like to report the position angle and my prediction software:
    - program SAT (written by Belgian Patrick Wils)
    - program Quicksat (by Mike McCants)
    supply this value for the predicted points.
    The magnitude estimation can however been done somewhere in between the
    predicted points. How to derive the position angle in that case?
    Is there anyone in our satellite observers community who will take care of
    the site designations. I know that Pierre Neirinck and Russell Eberst
    are|were involved in this.
    Because Pierre and Russell are first generation observers and like orbital
    analysis and observing I can imagine that they want someone else to take
    over this task. I'm willing to be that "some one" if I get the proper
    instructions. I know there is some geographical relationship between site
    number and what originally was the organizing country.
    I am already the PPAS collector and I'm willing to set up that magnitude
    observation database according to the format we eventually determine.
    Bram Dorreman
    Collector PPAS observations
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