OT: JAWSAT Math Question

From: Brian Webb (102670.1206@compuserve.com)
Date: Fri Jun 09 2000 - 05:07:19 PDT

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    This posting is off-topic, but it might be of interest to See-Sat members.
    Back in January, those of us on the U.S. west coast were treated to an
    artificial comet during the Minotaur/JAWSAT launch. This occurred at T+10
    min. 10 sec. when the Minotaur's 4th stage ignited. It was 2 hours after
    sunset, but the fourth stage was high enough to be in sunlight.
    I was lucky enough to take an excellent photo of this "comet" directly
    lined-up with, and 6 degrees above, one of our local freeways. I'm
    wondering how far away the fourth stage was from me when I
    observed/photographed it. Here are the specifics:
    My Location):
    34.247 deg. north
    118.835 deg. west
    elevation above sea level 0.1 nautical miles
    Fourth Stage Position at Ignition
    15.067 deg. north
    127.518 deg. west
    Altitude 402.7 nautical miles
    Fourth Stage Position at Burnout
    11.717 deg. north
    128.241 deg. west
    Altitude 405.9 nautical miles
    What was the slant range from me to the fourth stage at ignition and at
    By the way, the site I used is a highly restricted facility owned by a
    government agency. So please don't go there without permission - your
    presence could trigger an armed response (however, there's a good semi-open
    site across the highway).
    Brian Webb
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