Yet another Centaur in a low inclination, eccentric orbit

From: Mike McCants (mmccants@io.com)
Date: Mon Oct 24 2005 - 00:53:35 EDT

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    On Friday evening I found the Milstar 5 Centaur rocket
    (Object 27169, 2002 01B) in its expected place about 10:40 CDT
    (Oct 22 at 03:40 UT).  It was quite difficult with the 8 inch
    at 45x since it was alt 27, azi 245, range 24000 miles.
    It was flashing to about magnitude 11 and the moon had already
    risen in the northeast.  I asked Ed if he wanted to see it and
    while he was watching it, he spotted an object moving slowly
    from west to east.  This object was interesting because it was
    tumbling from about magnitude 8.5 to about 10.5 with a period
    of about 30 seconds.
    
    We were not sure if this could be an unknown object, so we
    tracked it for about 30 minutes.  During this time it became
    clear that it was moving more slowly and getting fainter.
    
    I have now determined which stars it passed near during the
    25 minutes that we timed passages by stars.  I have used elcor
    to determine the following orbit:
    
    Unknown 051022
    1 99999U 05795A   05295.05501301 0.00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0    00
    2 99999  25.2895 149.7020 7033154  50.3185 297.6259  2.37788565    07
    
    I hope that the mean motion may be accurate to within 5 minutes per day.
    
    This gave the following predictions for the time of observation:
    
    30.314 N 97.866 W  Bee Caves Rsrch Ctr
    
    2005 Oct 22 Fri evening/Sat morning  Times are UT
    
    Unknown 051022  IM 2.0
    
     Mag Hrs Min   Alt   Azi    Hgt  Range    R  A    Dec
                                  (miles)
     8.5   3  50  28.5 244.4   6108   7559  19 47.3  -5.2
     8.5   3  55  31.3 239.8   6799   8158  20 11.1  -6.5
     8.6   4   0  33.3 235.8   7468   8766  20 31.3  -7.7
     8.6   4   5  34.7 232.3   8113   9372  20 48.7  -8.8
     8.7   4  10  35.7 229.3   8736   9972  21  3.9  -9.7
     8.8   4  15  36.4 226.7   9337  10560  21 17.2 -10.6
     8.9   4  20  36.8 224.4   9916  11136  21 29.0 -11.4
    
    Mike McCants
    Austin, TX
    
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