RE: Laser Beam Observatio

From: <>
Date: Wed, 1 Mar 1995 08:10:30 -0500

>>It seems very unlikely we will ever find out what it was, unfortunately.
>>Thanks to all the people contributing to this thread!

Although it looks like Bart wants to close the discussion with
latest/178, I still would like to add some.

>>1. The date/time/position were completely wrong. I think this is doubtful,
>>since the observer is an experienced amateur astronomer.

I have generated SkyMap plots with the given observation points,
candidates for identification, and the tracks of the orbits suggested
by Mike McCants and Rainer Kracht, and it appears that :

A. At least one of the points is about 10 degrees in error, otherwise there
    is no gravitational field orbit that fits.

B. Although the suggested orbits culminate at about 53 degrees elevation,
    making them approach UMa or Alpha UMi would require the track pass
    close to zenith, and invalidate all but one of the observations.

C. Rainer Kracht wrote in seesat/170 :
>I have searched the 4000-element-sets for satellites, which were visible
>in the Swiss Alps on 1994 December 29 between 04:30 and 05:00 UTC,
>reached more than 50 deg above the horizon, had a minimum distance of less
>than 1000 km, passed within 5 deg of RA 12h15m/Decl. -11 degrees and moved
>towards alpha Umi. There is only one satellite, that meets this description:

>Macsat 1/2 Deb?
>1 20610U 90043  D 95004.47440952  .00000769  00000-0  90784-4 0  4694
>2 20610  89.9206 176.9387 0087645  10.7124 349.5845 14.80998513250475

I never saw a reason why only the first position should be valid.
For an orbit that is close to the remaining three points, #22161
(Freja,1992-64A) slightly higher than #20610, and culminating at
04:33 UT at about 52 degrees, is a candidate.

Between the two tracks, but slower, is #23278 (Cosmos 2292, 1994-61A)

Incidentally, #20610 enters the earth's shadow before culmination,
and the three suggested orbits leave it after culmination, but #22161
and #23278 are sunlit.

If anybody wants to do more work on this, I can upload the TLE's,
SkyMap .cfg file and PCX charts of the tracks, with or without
earth shadow, by SkyMap.

at about 52 degrees
Received on Wed Mar 01 1995 - 08:22:12 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0 : Fri Mar 07 2014 - 00:13:50 UTC