RE: Centaur-Clouds

From: Max White (
Date: Sun Oct 18 2009 - 21:37:10 UTC

  • Next message: Steve Daniels: "RE: Centaur-Clouds"

    I'll agree with this, but on a naked eye basis, and seen in a misty sky. The Centaur itself reached about Mag -1 and orange overhead, the first cloud being at the same elevation as Jupiter but to the East, as a circular blob initially, which I took to be the burn, about half the diameter of the Moon. The pass continued as the second cloud followed overhead as as an arrow head 'spike' fanning out to a triangular base as it continued to the north. 
    I would agree with the second emission from the Centaur after it appeared to initially cease.
    A camera would not have done justice to such a wonderful event, and to actually see an object achieving escape velocity to orbit the sun, visible to us on the ground - that has to be a unique? sight in my 25+ years of satellite tracking.
    Ted - wonderful work and well done on the calculations, I timed the first cloud overhead at 1912 whilst explaining to others what we were looking at!
    Max White
    Worcester UK
    > From:
    > To:
    > Subject: Centaur-Clouds
    > Date: Sun, 18 Oct 2009 22:39:55 +0200
    > To briefly sum it up:
    > WOW!!!!!
    > The first thing I saw was a bright cone shaped cloud rising in the South-West 
    > at about 19:13 UTC, 18-OCT-09. I thought that this was the Centaur but then a 
    > bright new cloud appeared some 25 degrees further to the upper right in the 
    > West. In binoculars there was a red central light from where the cloud 
    > expanded. The other cloud was closer to where the DMSP F18 satellite would 
    > have been expected and must have been from an initial firing of the Centaur. 
    > The actual Centaur passed 2 degrees below Vega at 19:14:16 (close to Ted's 
    > prediction) still *puffing*. It then seemed to stop venting after about half 
    > a minute but then about two minutes later *giving off steam* again.
    > Both clouds followed distinctly different trajectories. They remained bright 
    > enough to be seen even quite close to the (city-) horizon.
    > It shows up nicely on the photographs I took.
    > Gerhard HOLTKAMP
    > Darmstadt, Germany
    > 49.8822N, 8.6558E
    > -------------------------------------------------------------------------
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