Re: Richard's mystery GEO satellite near Cone Nebula

From: Richard Crisp (
Date: Thu Mar 17 2005 - 00:31:08 EST

  • Next message: Larry Wood: "Re: Richard's mystery GEO satellite near Cone Nebula"

    the time stamp on my pc is at the end of the image capture.
    the time on the PC was 6 minutes slow
    so the image began at 03:45 UTC monday March 14 and ended at 03:50 UTC 
    Monday March 14
    here's the latitude/longitude of my observing location
          Lat:  37.718537  37:43:6.733N
          Lon:  -122.066474  122:03:59.306W
    ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: "Matson, Robert" <>
    To: <>; <>
    Cc: <>; "'Seesat-L'" <>
    Sent: Wednesday, March 16, 2005 2:49 PM
    Subject: Richard's mystery GEO satellite near Cone Nebula
    >> Though Rob is an expert I tend to disagree.
    > Bjorn is being kind here -- I'm definitely out of practice!  ;-)
    >> My image shows the track of 76-4A inclined 3.9 degrees to the
    >> declination grid (+10 runs just below the glint)  The scale
    >> of UNID_314.gif overlaid on iridium_flare_xga_ov.gif is 1.96
    >> degrees (118') over the 805 pixel vertical.
    > I didn't bother to rotate images and do a slope comparison since
    > I thought the match looked reasonably close in time, location and
    > slope.  However, now that I've done so I see that Bjorn is right --
    > the inclination is off by a couple degrees.  While this doesn't
    > seem like a lot, it is enough to rule out 76-4A as a match.
    > Symphonie 2 was on a parallel track, so it's not a good
    > match for the same reasons.
    > Ekran 8 and OPS 9442 were closer to the correct location in
    > cross track (and on more nearly east-west trajectories), but
    > their intrack positions are poor and the slopes are actually
    > too far the other way (too horizontal).
    > Nearby Kiku 2 (ETS 2) looks to be close to the correct slope, but
    > shifted well to the east.  Bottom line is that none of these
    > is a solid match.
    > Two possibilities to consider:
    > Are the observer coordinates correct and/or can they be provided
    > to greater accuracy?
    > Are the reported UTC date and time absolutely certain?
    > Finally, answering Richard's questions:
    > "So Bjorn, you say it is 76-4A?  And Rob, you say it is #8585 right?"
    > No, #8585 is the same as 76-4A.  Bjorn didn't identify an alternate
    > candidate (nor can I).  It remains an unknown unless the location, date
    > or time were in error.
    >> We are all pretty sure it is a LEO because of the EW travel, right?
    > No -- I'm very confident that it is a *GEO* because of the EW travel.
    > Could be a glint from a small piece of debris near GEO that isn't in
    > the catalog.  By measuring the RA/Dec of two positions in the track
    > and assuming a GEO orbit, I bet Ted Molczan could generate you a
    > search orbit.  But you'd need to reacquire it soon in order not to
    > lose it.  If successful, it might very well be the dimmest object
    > ever discovered by an amateur!  --Rob
    > -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    > Subscribe/Unsubscribe info, Frequently Asked Questions, SeeSat-L archive:
    Subscribe/Unsubscribe info, Frequently Asked Questions, SeeSat-L archive:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Mar 17 2005 - 00:32:13 EST