Re: Unidentified Geosat

From: Michael McCants (mmccants@jump.net)
Date: Fri Mar 16 2001 - 14:54:23 PST

  • Next message: Dennis Jones: "I-7"

    Michael McCants wrote:
    
    >> The original nominal node for the Milstar 4 Centaur was 301, but it
    >> was late launching, so a lower value would be expected.
    
    Of course this is backwards.  A later launch means that the Earth
    has rotated farther east and that means a higher node value.
    (The below elset does indeed have a node that is about 30 degrees
    higher than the original Centaur target node.)
    
    Rick Baldridge wrote:
    
    >Mike's elements above put the satellite a bit too far west (about 1.5
    >degrees) relative to tonight's observations, so a slight change to the
    
    I must have made a mistake.  You said you were at 121 degrees east
    longitude?  No, maybe using west longitude would make a difference.  :-(
    
    Let's try again:
    
    Unknown 010313
    1 90009U 01572A   01074.70789176 0.00000000  00000-0 +00000+0 0    02
    2 90009   2.9000 327.5003 0001000   0.0523 359.9743  1.00263524    05
    
    >sketchy as of yet.  Satellite still passes about 1/8th degree EAST of DBS-2
    >heading south, but a bit earlier (6 - 7 minutes) each night, near 4:54 U.T.
    >at present.
    
    We looked for a while last night, but it would seem that we were looking
    in the wrong place.
    
    We had been distracted by 5th magnitude flashes from what turned out to
    be Molniya 3-27 at a range of 20000 miles.  (Ed first discovered it
    in July, 1998.)  Then we were distracted by all of the objects
    up there next to DBS 2.  Here are predictions for us for tonight
    to give you an idea of what is there.
    
         30.3138  97.8661  900.      Bee Caves Rsrch Ctr     
    
      ***  2001 Mar 17   Fri evening  *** Times are UT ***
    
    90009 Unknown 010313
        HGT ALT AZI  HRS MIN     R  A    DEC  RANGE
      22245  55 186    5   0    9 54.7  -5.1  22875
      22245  54 186    5  10   10  4.7  -5.2  22880
     
    23192 DBS 2
        HGT ALT AZI  HRS MIN     R  A    DEC  RANGE
      22246  55 186    5   0    9 54.5  -5.0  22874
      22246  55 186    5  10   10  4.6  -5.0  22874
     
    23598 DBS 3
        HGT ALT AZI  HRS MIN     R  A    DEC  RANGE
      22246  55 186    5   0    9 54.2  -5.0  22874
      22246  55 186    5  10   10  4.2  -5.0  22874
     
    23553 AMSC-1
        HGT ALT AZI  HRS MIN     R  A    DEC  RANGE
      22247  55 186    5   0    9 53.7  -5.0  22875
      22247  55 186    5  10   10  3.7  -5.0  22875
     
    25954 99060A GE 4
        HGT ALT AZI  HRS MIN     R  A    DEC  RANGE
      22245  55 186    5   0    9 53.0  -5.0  22874
      22245  55 186    5  10   10  3.1  -5.0  22874
     
    25937 99056A DIRECTV 1-R
        HGT ALT AZI  HRS MIN     R  A    DEC  RANGE
      22243  55 187    5   0    9 52.4  -5.0  22871
      22243  55 187    5  10   10  2.5  -5.0  22871
    
    The two "leading" objects, DBS 2 and 3, (as the stars go by them)
    were about magnitude 8.5 at 4:30 and were visible in my 80mm finder scope
    with a 16mm eyepiece (to give about 20x).  We watched from about 3:45
    until about 4:30, but we did not see an object near DBS 2.  But of course
    we gave up too soon.
    
    We saw 3 other objects after DBS 2 and 3, but the spacing does not seem
    to match the above predictions precisely.  Magnitudes were between
    10 and 12.  This was with my 8 inch telescope at 85X under clear, dark,
    slightly light-polluted skies.
    
    Mike McCants
    Austin. TX
    
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