Re: Unknown 061125

From: Greg Roberts (grr@telkomsa.net)
Date: Wed Oct 21 2009 - 06:09:18 UTC

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    Morning Gordon
    
    This object was discovered by me in 2006 (if memory correct) and is a 
    Centaur rocket so is big and bright. Please report any positional 
    observations if you can get as these objects are not usually observed too 
    frequently and can easily get lost.
    
    Another similar object is 90085 that I also discovered a few days ago. This 
    is also a Centaur rocket so is bright and can also easily get lost if not 
    observed for a while. This one has a perigee of about 100 miles so the orbit 
    can be pushed around a bit.
    
    Subject to correct I think I can say that most of the unknowns in 
    CLASSFD.TLE that have an inclination of around 27 degrees and high 
    eccentricity are probably Centaur rockets ( Mike is the expert here so if I 
    am incorrect in any details Im sure he will put the record straight).
    
    A lot of bright unknown objects in similar orbits have been observed by me 
    but usually the observed arc is too small to get an orbit good enough to 
    acquire again so they remain lost so there are still a few more to be 
    "found" again.
    
    Despite its name the CLASSIFIED.TLE file contains elements for objects that 
    are not really classified but are simply not tracked by SPACETRACK as far as 
    the public domain element sets are concerned. Probably they are tracked but 
    until a positive identification of a tracked object can be made so that it 
    can be given a country of origin and a particular launch it remains an 
    uncataloged object.
    
    When trying to track these "fancy" objects in CLASSFIED.TLE I trust you know 
    that you should use mikes INT.TLE file as these elements are more "correct" 
    than those in CLASSFIED.TLE which is only really of use in indicating when 
    the object was last tracked whereas the INT.TLE file has the orbit updated 
    every day with Mikes brilliant update orbital theory .
    This only applies to non leo objects, so use CLASSFIED.TLE for leo objects 
    and INT.TLE for high flyers.
    
    Best wishes
    Greg 
    
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