Mystery Satellite Pair

From: Chris Zietkiewicz (
Date: Wed Jun 02 2010 - 09:56:54 UTC

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    I initially expected the task of identifying a two satellite formation
    (linear with one trailing the other) to be a simple task due to the limited
    number of potential candidates but I am struggling to make the ID using
    HA.   Perhaps someone with a spare moment can show me the proper way to use
    HA to make an identification in situations like this. 
    >From my location at N40.2730 W105.3560 elevation 2073m on June 2, 2010 I
    observed one satellite trailing another at what appeared to be a fixed
    separation about 1.6 degrees when the azimuth angle was 70 degrees.  The
    pair were first observed at an azimuth angle of 60 degrees and elevation
    around 35 degrees at about 12:22 AM MDT moving at a rate of 3.4 degrees
    every 10 seconds.  The pair were last observed at an azimuth angle of 100
    degrees and elevation of 22 degrees at about 12:25 AM MDT.  My time accuracy
    is no better than +/-1 minute and elevation angle uncertainty is at least
    +/-5 degrees.  Both objects appeared to have equal brightness when observed
    through Nikon 10x50 binoculars but were not visible with the unaided eye at
    the 35 degree elevation point.  The object brightness reduced to the
    threshold of visibility through these binoculars at the 100 degree azimuth
    angle.    Sorry for the poor quality data, I was not expecting to make an
    observation so I was unprepared.
    My sincerest thanks to everyone who can explain why I cannot make an
    identification with HA.
    Best regards,
    Chris Zietkiewicz  
    Seesat-l mailing list

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