Difference between observed and predicted time of satellite pass

From: Geoff Nelson (gjnelson@absamail.co.za)
Date: Tue Mar 16 2004 - 06:52:20 EST

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    Hi 
    
    I am new to this satellite observing thing. Last night was the first 
    clear skies that we have had in months. I started Cartes duCiel and 
    used the satellite prediction software (Mike McCant's) to do some 
    predictions and start observing. 
    
    I had no success kept on trying amongst all the other things. I would 
    go out about 5 minutes before the predicted pass and then see 
    nothing. Eventually I gave up. 
    
    This morning I got up and on my way to Gym 5:20 UT-2:00 looked and 
    saw a satellite go over easily visible in early twilight so I guess 
    about magnitude 2-3. it was moving in a northerly direction checked 
    my  watch a couple of times to make sure I had the time correct. 
    
    I then started up the satellite software again and the only satellite 
    that fits the observed magnitude was Cosmos 1833 time was 05:25:27. 
    This is about a 5 minute difference between what I observed and what 
    I saw. I verified my watch this morning it was about 30 seconds fast. 
    
    What could be cause of the difference ~ 5 minutes between the 
    prediction and the observation. This does at least explain why I did 
    not see any satellites last night.
    
    Any help will be greatly appreciated
    
    Geoff
    
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