standard mag
Mon, 13 Nov 95 03:17:00 UTC 0000

Anyone know why 23588 9520D has rcs of 782 ?!
It is supposedly debris from Progress M27

>From: Ted Molczan <>
>Some day, I would like to replace or augment the dimensions with true
>standard magnitudes, determined through observation.

To save you the trouble, this is exactly what I am doing now.  I look for
every sat brighter than mag 13 for the purpose of determining standard mag.  I
use Quicksat's IM format.  For most sats, I use at least 2 observations, 1
with crescent phase, 1 with gibbous.

>Often I found my self fighting the clock, trying to adequately
>document my last obs (sufficient for later detailed reduction
>of position and time) while leaving sufficient time to acquire
>the next target.

And here I thought I was the only one going nuts like that.  Glad to have your
company  :)

>Russell's comments about checking whether or not the expected
>object will be moving up or down or left to right describe exactly
>the process I followed. The only problem, is that it takes precious
>time, so I found a way to automate the process, as the following
>sample ephemeris shows. In particular, I draw your attention to
>the column labeled "FE":
>Computing the FE is not particularly difficult, as long as you are

Yes, knowing the direction of travel is very useful for observers.  The
calulations are already incorporated into Quicksat.  After asking Mike McCants
about it, he graciously put that feature into QUICKSAT. He has been very
accommodating in making enhancements to his great program.  That's why I
consider it the best tracking program around.
The column DIR clearly gives the direction the sat is going.
Freehold, New Jersey