Decay Watch: Molniya 3-11 Obs, 23 Nov 98

Ron Lee (ronlee@pcisys.net)
Sun, 22 Nov 1998 21:39:30 -0700

Used this elset from OIG to feed into SatEvo:

MOLNIYA 3-11
1 11240U 79004A   98326.85566335  .12025138  81184-5  35341-3 0   222
2 11240  62.0069 354.9192 3110106 283.6968  44.8009  9.55138272148550

yielding this elset for the pass in question:

NORAD( 1)=11240
1 11240U 79004A   98327.06433198  .12193092  27246-2  35461-3 0 90229 
2 11240  62.0025 354.6082 3085826 283.7305  44.1997  9.60191671148572 

First obs at 01:43:54.2 UT on 23 Nov 98.  RA (2000) 2:42.1 (h:m) and
Dec (2000) +2.86 deg.   Essentially on track and about 6 seconds early.
It was fluctuating in brightness.

I went back in and printed a Skymap chart for a position after it exited
shadow.  That position at time 02:03:11.3 UT was RA 6:02.9 (h:m) and
Dec +43.31 deg (2000).  About 9 seconds early.

This time I tracked it a bit and an approximate period is 14.5 seconds 
although I got several periods that were 5-9 seconds. It seemed to be 
tumbling with more reflections than just at 14.5 sec intervals but I was
unable to time those.

Obs from Falcon, CO with 8" scope.  Easy observation. May have been 
visible in binoculars.

Ron Lee