RE: Observations, UT: 05-03.

From: Ted Molczan (
Date: Thu May 04 2000 - 18:18:47 PDT

  • Next message: "Together Again...Almost"

    Jonathan T. Wojack wrote:
    > I did not see USA 86 (22251) at 01:01:15, considering my element sets
    > were 4 to 5 days old, and the object seems to manuever a lot.  Bad
    > mistake # 1.
    To my knowledge, these are the latest elements, which were about 8 days old at
    the time of Jonathan's attempted observation:
    1 22251U 92083A   00116.12243973  .00007000  00000-0  43321-3 0    09
    2 22251  97.7240 150.5454 0371000 133.3341 226.6658 14.66971147    07
    I estimate the prediction time uncertainty at less than 10 s; so the age of the
    elements should not have been a problem. More likely, I believe the object may
    have been difficult to see because it was low in the west and poorly
    illuminated, especially after culmination, at 1:01 UTC.
    Jonathan might have had better luck had he observed about 1 min earlier, in the
    SW, where its illumination was somewhat better. On the other hand, KeyHoles are
    known to flare briefly in the West and NW, so it could have become visible,
    despite the poor phase angle.
    As for manoeuvres, this object has made only one significant one since the
    spring of 1996. In early Nov'99 it decreased its apogee by about 50 km, and
    slightly increased its inclination. However, at 2706 days in orbit (as of the
    latest elements) it is getting old, so there is an increasing potential for it
    to be de-orbited, though that could still be years away.
    The two longest-lived KeyHoles to-date were 84122A, which remained in orbit for
    at least 3600 days; and 88099A, which remained in orbit for about 2745 days.
    Ted Molczan
    Unsubscribe from SeeSat-L by sending a message with 'unsubscribe'
    in the SUBJECT to

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu May 04 2000 - 18:19:03 PDT