Eutelsat W3 nailed...... at 21.5 east. ( was W3 visual confirmation )

From: John Locker (
Date: Mon Nov 29 2004 - 05:06:47 EST

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    Hi all....
    I have now put together a couple of videos from last nights sortie to find 
    and nail W3.
    Is a 1.2 mb video ,showing  Eutelsat  2F3
    1 21803U 91083A   04326.94132405  .00000135  00000-0  10000-3 0  7663
    2 21803   4.2063  82.0539 0003287 160.0853 180.0103  1.00278406 43436
    as it climbs towards the arc.
    The movie is made up of 10 second exposures , about a minute apart (the
    streaks are star trails ) you can see  how fast , and how far the
    satellite travels in just 8 minutes ! From east to west the field of view is
    about three quarters of a degree.
    If this was a stable bird , there would be no visible movement at all during 
    short period.
    This is the heavilly inclined satellite which was at 21.5 east , but has now 
    drfited towards
    22 east.
    The video gives a good indication just why it has become necessary to 
    replace the
    Shows the target satellite W3 , rock steady and quite bright , on the arc at 
    21.5 east ( Yes ....NORAD still place it at 48 east)
    W3 is the bird to the right of frame , 2F3 centre , very faint ( magnitude 
    14 ? ) and moving towards the top left corner ( east)
    I needed to catch both satellites in fame to prove that W3 was in position.
    The relative speed of 2F3 is quite impressive.
    I would have liked to have captured more frames , but the Moon was by this 
    time very near by...and very bright , but at least we now have the pictures 
    to back up the theory that W3 is on station......and not thousands of miles 
    to the east.
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