Re: Jason 2 and Flashing Object

From: Bram Dorreman (
Date: Sun Jun 22 2008 - 20:51:58 UTC

  • Next message: Bram Dorreman: "BD PPAS obs 2008-06-16/20"

    2008/6/22 Gerhard HOLTKAMP <>:
    > Last night I had my first view of Jason 2 (2008-032A, #33105). I picked it up
    > with my 10x50 binoculars as a reddish mag 5 to mag 6 object at 21:03:07 UTC,
    > 21-JUN-08 above Delta Cyg and followed it for two minutes until it reached
    > the Coathanger Cluster (RA 19:25, Decl. 20:11) at 21:05:15. I then swept back
    > in order to see Jason 1 which was about to follow three minutes later but
    > chanced upon a rapidly blinking and flashing object. Some flashes went up to
    > mag 2 or so. As this object seemed to follow the same path as Jason 2 across
    > the sky (it passed the Coathanger Cluster at 21:07:21 UTC) I first thought it
    > to be the booster (although it would have been unsual to trail the
    > satellite). A later check showed that this object must have been SL-12 DEB
    > 1992-047M, #28578, on a rather different orbit actually - it was just my
    > location which made it look like the two were on identical orbits for a brief
    > period.
    > Incidentally, Spacetrack lists the Delta 2 R/B (2008-032B) in a 2161 km x 4362
    > km orbit (epoch 172.90700183) which seems to be totally wrong as this booster
    > was supposed to be deorbited after Jason 2 insertion.
    I found out this object must be 1992-052A, Topex, which I followes
    because it is a "PPAS object".
    I worked the other way around: predicted Topex, Jason 1 and Jason 2
    and found they are
    - in same orbital plane
    - almost same period
    - passing with rather small intervals (120 and 40 seconds?)
    But I was not able to check it because of clouds at the wrong place
    (where I expected those 3 satellites). Tonight will be even worse with
    possibly thunderstorms.
    Topex is tumbling and some bright flashes occur every 27 seconds.
    See my PPAS-reports in different e-mails.
    Bram Dorreman.
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