Re: identification help asked_update

From: Ralf Vandebergh (
Date: Wed Jul 07 2010 - 08:53:12 UTC

  • Next message: Ted Molczan: "TJM obs of 2010 Jul 07 UTC"

    Hi all,
    First, thanks for the help on searching for this object by
    Makoto, Marco, Arnold, Ted, George. (and maybe others)
    Some suggestions matched, especially Cosmos 2241 which
    was nearby in the region and for me candidate number 1 
    I checked its position in Calsky but it moved Eastward, 
    while my object moved in Western direction. This also 
    was the problem with the other close matches.
    Cosmos 2344 was regarding position very close, but
    moved also in the wrong direction and matched not
    with the low angular speed.
    So, a real match wasn't found, which makes it even
    more interesting, in my opninion. 
    I recently took a closer look at the obtained frames,
    and the object appears to not be resolved from
    the Airy disk, which actually proofs its real far
    distance; most general satellites I'm able to resolve
    at the used resolution of 0.20 arcseconds per pixel,
    even if it's only a very small disk.
    Ralf Vandebergh
      Sent: Tuesday, July 06, 2010 11:24 AM
      Subject: identification help asked
      Very high orbiting object; indication help asked!
      July 4:)I was at the telescope to await Cosmos 1812 during
      a routine imaging session with multiple targets. This sat did not
      show up. However....
      Just a few minutes later, (22:40 UTC, July 4) a mag 1-2 object 
      appeared in the region between Arcturus and the Big Dipper. It 
      appeared as a fixed artificial star. It was directly clear this 
      must be an object in a very high orbit (estimated minimally 30.000km)
      I directly manoeuvred the 10incher in position and I saw a very slow 
      movement of the object in the viewfinder.Images were obtained during 
      several seconds at 0.20''/p res.I just captured a few seconds of the 
      flare, and them brightness decreased back to a dim object. So I have 
      some frames of the flare and the decreasing trajectory back to a dim. 
      quick frame inspections revealed  a very small disk, which is likely 
      of an object at this distance.
      Almost immediately I realised this object showed all the properties 
      of the mysterious Trumpet 3 satellite (USA-136)in its molniya orbit, 
      which I observed some years back regularly in the vicinity of the Little 
      Dipper. So I checked inCalsky the positioins of all Trumpet satellites 
      in orbit but non of them seemed to be positioned in that region. 
      The closest, I believe, was USA-200 but it was in Hercules constellation. 
      The others were almost all positioned in the Eastern sky regions.
      Comparing the very low angular speed and comparable magnitude
      as I have seen of USA-136, it is most likely that it must be an 
      object with comparable altitude and dimensions.
      Has anyone a suggestion?
      Thanks in advance,
      Ralf Vandebergh
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