Re: Satellites inadvertently observed by NEAT

Date: Mon Oct 27 2003 - 02:29:03 EST

  • Next message: Peter Wakelin: "SATOBS 2003 October 26 (continued)"

    "Matson, Robert" wrote:
    > Another window will open up, showing the satellite track through
    > the star field.  There are 12 bright flashes alternating with
    > 12 dimmer flashes.  Upon closer inspection, you can see even
    > dimmer flashes in between each bright/dim pair.  Since the
    > exposure time is 20 seconds, this means that the satellite
    > in question has a rotational period of 20 seconds/11.5 = 1.74
    > seconds.  Pretty fast spinner with 4 reflective surfaces at
    > 90 degree angles (i.e. a "box").  Every 4th flash is fairly
    > bright, so perhaps this is the side that is parallel to the
    > bright side of the solar panels.
    > SkyMap identified this satellite as Westar 5 (#13269, 82058A),
    > though the epoch of the orbital elements I used was much more
    > recent than June 12, 2001.  Has anyone observed this satellite
    > before?  
    Back in Feb. 1995, when I think I was the only one watching geo sats, I saw
    it flashing between 2-7 seconds to mag 11.
    Between flashes, it was invisible, fainter than mag 13.
    Jay Respler
         Satellite Tracker * Early Typewriter Collector
                Freehold, New Jersey
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