Obs 30 Oct 2005

From: Greg Roberts (grr@iafrica.com)
Date: Mon Oct 31 2005 - 11:19:01 EST

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    Observations 30 Oct 2005:
    -------------------------------
    
    Cosatrak 1 (Computerised satellite Tracking System).
    MINTRON low light level CCD surveillance camera (0.005 lux typical
    in non integration mode) and 0.00005 lux in STARLIGHT mode with 128
    frame integration.
    
    Used with ~60mm focal length f/2.8 lens,integrating for 64 frames
    which is equivalent to an 1.28 seconds.
    
    Field of view  5.35 x 4.25 degrees and showing stars down to about
    magnitude +9.5 - a nice lens for searching for bright unknowns.
    
    Site 0433 : Longitude 18.51294 deg East, Latitude  33.94058 deg S,
    Elevation 10 metres - situated in Pinelands (Cape Town), South Africa
    
    
    
    24680 96 072A   0433 F 20051030205949900 56 15 1121300-742649 39
    24680 96 072A   0433 F 20051030205951100 56 15 1121180-743609 39
    24680 96 072A   0433 F 20051030205952400 56 15 1120560-744614 39
    24680 96 072A   0433 F 20051030205956400 56 15 1120220-751350 39
    24680 96 072A   0433 F 20051030205957600 56 15 1120040-752530 39
    28888 05 042A   0433 F 20051030202553300 56 15 0838524-624637 39  +075 05
    28888 05 042A   0433 F 20051030202622700 56 15 0811342-634309 39  +071 05
    28888 05 042A   0433 F 20051030202636800 56 15 0756498-640318 39  +069 05
    28888 05 042A   0433 F 20051030202650900 56 15 0740489-641735 39  +068 05
    28888 05 042A   0433 F 20051030202716500 56 15 0708495-642329 39  +067 05
    28888 05 042A   0433 F 20051030202749800 56 15 0622226-634105 39  +050 05
    28888 05 042A   0433 F 20051030202809000 56 15 0554120-624216 39  +020 05
    28888 05 042A   0433 F 20051030202832000 56 15 0520143-605048 39  +010 05
    90027 04 841A   0433 F 20051030191905400 56 15 2302285+361747 39  +100 05
    90027 04 841A   0433 F 20051030192628500 56 15 2349183+225117 39  +090 05
    90027 04 841A   0433 F 20051030193636500 56 15 0048225+051700 39  +075 05
    90027 04 841A   0433 F 20051030194558400 56 15 0319489-285556 39  +065 05
    25724 99 023A   0433 F 20051030175856400 56 15 2207239+254642 39  +035 05
    25724 99 023A   0433 F 20051030175927200 56 15 2227483+263332 39  +035 05
    25744 99 028A   0433 F 20051030185636400 56 15 2325567+270752 39  +050 05
    
    Strays seen:
    -------------
    Adeos Rocket
    24279 96 046C   0433 F 20051030202237500 56 15 0900112-625932 39  +051 05
    24279 96 046C   0433 F 20051030202312100 56 15 0828221-644504 39  +050 05
    Cosmos 1743
    16719 86 034A   0433 F 20051030175333800 56 15 2145267+171143 39  +030 05
    Cosmos 2037
    20196 89 068A   0433 F 20051030180449700 56 15 2220203+253249 39  +070 05
    Meteor 2-19
    20670 90 057A   0433 F 20051030181216500 56 15 2221447+265356 39  +057 05
    Cosmos 1875 rocket
    18340 87 074G   0433 F 20051030181444900 56 15 2221035+270434 39  +060 05
    Symphonie 2 rocket
    08133 75 077B   0433 F 20051030181755700 56 15 2228360+263613 39  +040 05
    ETS 7
    25064 97 074B   0433 F 20051030182539100 56 15 2237456+254011 39  +030 05
    Essa 5
    02757 67 036A   0433 F 20051030184100700 56 15 2248441+272001 39  +075 05
    
    Notes:
    --------
    
    (1) Not a good night due to cirrus ahead of a cold front - eventually
    forced me to stop as all I could see then was Mars.
    
    (2) Using Teds latest elements for 96072A - USA 129 - I DID not see the
    satellite. This was not unexpected as the mean motion is still very
    uncertain. I then did a planar search for the next pass and got the
    observations reported above for #24680. Conditions were very poor and
    I only saw it for a few seconds before cirrus "erased" the satellite. I
    do not find a predicted satellite in this area at the time so suspect
    USA 129.
    
    (3) Excellant track on USA 186, running very close to Teds latest orbit.
    Did a lovely flare to about magnitude +1 before starting to fade.
    
    (4) Adeos rocket was seen a few minutes before USA 186 - thought it might
    have been USA 186 but USA 186 arrived on time about 3 minutes later.
    
    (5) The strays were observed by "accident". When I am not actively tracking
    the camera is parked pointing in a random direction, a note is made of the
    azimuth and elevation and the system left unattended whilst the DVD recorder
    records the area in question. A program is later run using the DVD recorder
    which "sums" all the activity taking place over a period of 1 minute as a
    single composite image and I then flip through each  1 minute image recorded
    looking for satellite trails which are then subsequently identified. In this
    way I can examine (say) an hours recording in about 2-3 minutes. The program
    used is very sensitive and shows all traces that are about 2 to 3 pixel
    counts above the average background noise and the images are composited at
    25 frames per second, so approximately 1530 frames per composite image.
    The program was originally developed for detecting meteors.
    
    (6) No observing tonight - 31 Oct - the cold front is here.
    
    Cheers
    Greg
    
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