Re: Cloud observation

Date: Fri May 05 2000 - 12:07:35 PDT

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    In a message dated 00-05-03 08:49:18 EDT, writes:
    << At 03:32 PM 5/3/00 +0300, you wrote:
     >Ed Cannon wrote:
     >> If this had been observed at 20:58 on Saturday, March 25, I would wonder
     >> if it could have been related to the launch of the IMAGE satellite at
     >> 20:34:43 from Vandenberg AFB into a 93.9-degree inclination orbit.
     >Sorry, my date was little bit wrong. The correct date was March 25,
     >Saturday...So we have observed an engine burn of IMAGE satellite.
     >Leo Wikholm
     Unless it was a solid rocket, it is more likely you observed a dump
     of excess propellant.
     Ron Lee
    Maybe I'm missing something, but if the launch occured from VAFB at 20:34:43 
    (I'm assuming that is GMT, but I could be wrong) into a 93.9 degree inclined 
    orbit I don't see how it could have been over N. Finland only 24 minutes 
    later at 20:58 (again assuming GMT).  Launches into polar orbits from VAFB 
    typically head to the south-southwest and my calculations show that it could 
    not have been over N. Finland until about 21:58 (GMT), or about an hour after 
    the noted observation.  I don't know what altitude the IMAGE park orbit was, 
    but I've assumed a low-altitude roughly circular orbit (i.e., the shortest 
    orbital period possible).  Is it possible there is some time zone confusion 
    on my part about when the launch or observation took place, or do we still 
    have a question about what it really was?
    Daryl Bahls
    "Orbitologist in Residence"
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