Obs 07 and 10th March 2005

From: Greg Roberts (grr@iafrica.com)
Date: Fri Mar 11 2005 - 11:44:54 EST

  • Next message: Kevin Fetter: "Re: Obs 07 and 10th March 2005"

    Observations 07 and 10th MARCH 2005
    ------------------------------------
    Cosatrak 1 (Computerised satellite Tracking System).
    MINTRON low light level CCD surveillance camera (0.005 lux typical
    in non integration mode) and 0.00005 lux in STARLIGHT mode with 128
    frame integration. Due to bright sky it is not worthwhile integrating
    more than 48 frames which is equivalent to an exposure of 0.96 seconds.
    
    Observations made on the 7th March 2005 used an 82mm focal length
    lens fitted with a focal reducer and the MINTRON and gave a field of
    view of about 5.0 x 4.0 degrees and could see stars as faint as 11-12th
    magnitude.The lens proved unsatisfactory for my geostationary objects
    survey and has now departed to lens heaven.
    
    Observations made on the 10th March 2005 used a 5 inch f/5 refractor
    and MINTRON giving a field of about 36 x 28 arc minutes and seeing
    stars/satellites as faint as magnitude +14. It was not perfectly
    focussed and guess I could get another magnitude with a little effort.
    
    Data recorded on DVD R/W disks - will be kept for 1 month and then
    re-used - just in case any queries as Im always making mistakes!
    
    Site 0433 : Longitude 18.51294 deg East, Latitude  33.94058 deg S,
    Elevation 10 metres - situated in Pinelands (Cape Town), South Africa
    
    90013 03 564A   0433 G 20050310175518400 17 15 0816079+123418 39  +085 05
    27168 02 001A   0433 G 20050310180748200 17 15 0529222+072248 39  +107 05
    26356 00 024A   0433 G 20050310182041100 17 15 0542366+055106 39  +105 05
    90017 03 780A   0433 G 20050310183227600 17 15 0611453+060336 39  +105 05
    23712 95 060A   0433 G 20050310200558900 17 15 0755475+083051 39  +127 05
    90013 03 564A   0433 G 20050310201827700 17 15 1040114+092653 39  +085 05
    90031 05 546A   0433 G 20050310204329200 17 15 1302069+052505 39  +107 05
    90031 05 546A   0433 G 20050310204444100 17 15 1303243+052457 39  +107 05
    23712 95 060A   0433 G 20050310212325400 17 15 0913270+093614 39  +114 05
    90013 03 564A   0433 G 20050307182357000 17 15 0833072+121914 39
    90013 03 564A   0433 G 20050307184420100 17 15 1050182+053703 39
    27168 02 001A   0433 G 20050307185842000 17 15 0608263+070611 39
    
    
    Commercial geostationaries:
    ----------------------------
    LMI 1
    25924 99 053A   0433 G 20050310204219100 17 15 1321565+050914 39  +105 05
    HELLAS SAT 1
    22175 92 066A   0433 G 20050310204937900 17 15 0833396+074603 39  +098 05
    EUTELSAT W5
    27554 02 051A   0433 G 20050307184420100 17 15 1052420+051420 39
    PAS 10
    26766 01 109A   0433 G 20050307184420100 17 15 1044080+051243 39
    PAS 7
    25473 98 052A   0433 G 20050307184420100 17 15 1044450+051159 39
    RADUGA 1-4
    25642 99 010A   0433 G 20050307211027000 17 15 1042048+102437 39
    
    Low altitude strays:
    ---------------------
    THOR AGENA D R/B
    01245 65 016J   0433 G 20050310183010300 17 15 0609363+062841 39  +045 05
    GLOBALSTAR MO30
    25854 99 037D   0433 G 20050310190640100 17 15 0650119+065023 39  +055 05
    COSMOS 626
    07005 73 108A   0433 G 20050310192930100 17 15 0600495+204950 39  +065 05
    DIAPASON (D1-A)
    02016 66 013A   0433 G 20050307183322900 17 15 0836227+125402 39  +085 05
    SL-14 R/B
    21305 91 033G   0433 G 20050307183407300 17 15 0839049+130953 39  +055 05
    CZ-4B DEBRI
    27433 02 024D   0433 G 20050307183359700 17 15 0852414+121024 39  +040 05
    CZ-3A R/B orbit 180 x8606, i=24.7,p=185m,range observed around 2440 kms
    26644 00 082B   0433 G 20050307175822300 17 15 0635083+283105 39  +040 05
    26644 00 082B   0433 G 20050307175827300 17 15 0638572+282913 39  +040 05
    26644 00 082B   0433 G 20050307175835600 17 15 0645246+282812 39  +040 05
    WIRE
    25646 99 011A   0433 G 20050307180135000 17 15 0643258+341703 39  +050 05
    ARIANE 44L+3 R/B orbit 293 x31879kms,i=6.8,P 558.3m,range observed 4567km
    23732 95 067C   0433 G 20050307180926600 17 15 0654054+345446 39
    SL-8 R/B
    24773 97 017B   0433 G 20050307181932300 17 15 0216419-495301 39
    
    Notes:
    ------
    (1) I originally had some doubts as to how useful the 5 inch refractor
    would be on account of its small field of view, however the COSATRAK system
    handled the situation quite well and objects where generally in the field
    of view or just outside of it so needed a little scanning around to find
    the object. The 5 inch is not suitable for leo objects as the satellites
    flash through the field of view in about a second, however for geostationaries
    it is ideal as its possible to immediately spot the satellite as the stars
    pass by. However for my general survey, where I am looking for unknowns, the
    field of view is too small, so next tracking session I will try a 400mm f/5.5
    lens with a field of view of about 0.85 x 0.6 degrees and should get 13th
    magnitude. My focal reducer may increase the field size by another 20% or so.
    
    (2) Not all satellites are the same so its useful sometimes to know what you
    are looking for, so for my own records here are a few comments:
    
    Milstar 2 - a difficult one as its nowhere near as bright as Milstar 5.
              Its rather faint at the start of the evening and brightens as
              the night progresses. I have not yet seen any flashing as I
              am too lazy to wait till it reaches opposition to see if
              it flashes.
    
    Milstar 5 - always reasonably bright - again I have not hung around long enough
              to see if it flashes as the phase angle changes.
    
    90013 - of the approximately 70 or so geostationary satellites I have now seen
            this is by far the brightest. It is steady and brightness varies from
            about magnitude +7.5 to about +8.5 during the evening. It is always
            visible, except when in shadow.
    
    USA 149 - 00-024A #26356. With the 5inch refractor and MINTRON it was easy
            to see it on the monitor. It appeared to have an approximate period
            of 9 seconds. There would be a flash then nothing for about 9 seconds
            followed by a small flash and almost immediately by a bright flash and
            then back to nothing for about 9 seconds. Sometimes there was no flash
            after 9 seconds, and sometimes also no minor and major flashes.
    
    90017 - this is a DSP satellite and flashes about every 2.5 seconds, but only
            for about 20-30 minutes the same time each night - for me this is
            around 18:30UT.
    
    90031 - whenever watched it has been steady and around magnitude +10.7.
    
    Cheers
    Greg
    
    
    
    
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