ROSAT: evolution of predicted decay v1

From: Ted Molczan (
Date: Thu Oct 13 2011 - 15:30:34 UTC

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    I have used Satevo 0.51 to propagate the past 12 days of USSTRATCOM's TLEs of ROSAT (1990-049A / 20638) to decay, and
    plotted the results on the same type of graph that I used last month for UARS (1991-063B / 21701):
    Over the span of the data, the predicted date of decay has varied between mid-Oct 22 and early Oct 26 UTC, but in recent
    days it has narrowed to between late Oct 22 and early Oct 24.
    Apparent trends may be extrapolated to intersect the "Decay Now" line to estimate the date of decay, but it is unwise to
    extrapolate very short-term trends this far from decay, because variations in solar flux and geomagnetic activity can
    still have a significant influence on the date of decay.
    I intend to provide updates from time to time, including predictions from other sources.
    Ted Molczan
    Seesat-l mailing list

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