Re: Unid Naked-Eye Flashing Geosych

From: Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Date: Thu May 20 2004 - 06:05:32 EDT

  • Next message: David Brierley: "DMB Obs May 17-18"

    Kent Yeglin wrote:
    
    >The only sat that fits the observed position is Aussat K2 
    >(85-109C, 16275). I haven't seen any references to any of 
    >the Aussats flashing, so I'm doubful that's what I saw.
    
    As I see Tony just wrote, Findsat yields very tiny time 
    and positional residuals for this object for all three 
    positions, and no other known flashing geosynchs very near.  
    Here are the elements of the known ones (which are also 
    included in the mccants.tle file):
    
    http://home.iprimus.com.au/aberesford/tle/geoflsh.txt
    
    This Aussat or Optus (called B2 on most sites and in the
    SSR) is a cylinder 6 meters by 2 meters, covered with 
    solar panels, with a de-spun antenna part.  The latest SSR 
    lists its RCS as well under one square meter.  It's not 
    your typical flashing geosynch!  I hope to see it, or 
    whatever big stealthsat is tracking right beside it.
    
    I was able, with pains in the neck, to find ASC 1 (85-076C,
    15994) and observed it from 4:53:46 to 5:31:36, when our
    nightly low clouds began arriving (and time was up anyway 
    on my session).  I was reminded why it's such a pain in the 
    neck.  Its flash period is about 151 seconds (I guess.), 
    but it does not flash at every expected time.  I saw three 
    flashes and then none.  Then after 15 minutes I tried again, 
    and there it was again.  The brightest flash was possibly 
    +1 mag.  PPAS:
    
    85- 76 C 04-05-20 05:31:36   EC 2270.0 0.3  15 151.33 +1.5->inv
    
    What PPAs numbers mean: http://users.skynet.be/satimage/bwgs/ppasformat.txt
    
    I also observed Gorizont 13 (17083), which wasn't quite as
    bright from here this time -- not so well placed, fairly 
    low in the WSW:
    
    86- 90 A 04-05-20 04:37:45   EC  861.1 0.3  10 86.11  +4.5->inv
    
    FWIW, here are the known (plus maybe a couple of suspected)
    flashing, drifting (mostly former) geosynchs for which I had 
    Highfly predictions for earlier tonight (May 20 UTC); I only 
    managed to try to see four of them this session:
    
    Cat # COSPAR. Common Name
    ----- ------- --------------------
    14985 84-049A Chinasat 5
    15677 85-035A GStar 1
    15946 85-070A Raduga 16
    15994 85-076C ASC 1 -- seen
    16101 85-087A Intelsat 501
    17083 86-090A Gorizont 13 -- seen
    17969 87-040A Gorizont 14
    18631 87-100A Raduga 21
    18951 88-018A Spacenet 3R
    19017 88-028A Gorizont 15
    19217 88-051C PAS 1
    19397 88-071A Gorizont 16 -- not seen
    19483 88-081A GStar 3
    19919 89-027A Tele-X
    20066 89-046A USA 39 (DMSP B14-1) -- seen (not easy in 8x42)
    20168 89-062A TVSat 2
    20705 90-063A TDF 2
    20771 90-077A Yuri 3A
    21668 91-060A Yuri 3B
    22907 93-072A Gorizont 29
    22927 93-077A Telstar 401
    23267 94-060A Cosmos 2291
    23670 95-049A Telstar 402R
    
    One "problem" with summer nights here is that LEO satellites 
    continue (some fainter ones at least) right on through 
    midnight, thus they greatly encroach upon time for observing
    flashing geosynchs.
    
    I had a prediction for USA 136 Centaur Rk (97-068B, 25035)
    with one of Björn's elsets.  I looked for it around the 
    predicted time (had some cloud interference) but didn't try
    to really search for it for a long time.  Didn't see it.
    
    Managed to see NOSS 2-3 trio (96-029 C, D, E) in spite of
    clouds along much of their track.  The clouds went away for
    a long time after that.  Thank you again very much to those 
    who provide positional obs on many fun satellites!
    
    IRS-P2 (94-068A, 23323) did at least one very bright flash,
    on a pass in the west.  So did Orion 3 (99-024A, 25727), in
    the southwest.
    
    Cosmos 2389 Rk (27437):
    
    02- 26 B 04-05-20 03:12:41   EC  114.9 1.3   8 14.4  
    
    BCRC site: 30.315N, 97.866W, 280m.
    
    Comet NEAT 2001 Q4 seemed a little fainter.
    
    I saw a very fast-flying eastbound jet that did not make 
    any sound that I could hear.  It had ordinary running 
    lights.  About the fastest one I can remember.  Lots of 
    airplanes fly over BCRC every session; a few of them 
    illuminate the site with their strobes or headlights
    occasionally.  Sorry for the digression...
    
    Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas, USA
    
    
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