TDF 1, or a different one?

From: Ed Cannon (
Date: Tue Sep 03 2002 - 06:03:42 EDT

  • Next message: paul: "Re: TDF 1 is flashing ??"

    Well, this is interesting.  When I got home from observing, I saw 
    Rob's message about TDF 1.  I also had found and timed it -- for 
    1:45:23.8 (6323.8 seconds), 303 cycles, period 20.870 seconds. (It 
    was still flashing when time came to leave the BCRC site.) Its 
    brightest maxima seemed +4.5 at best, maybe only +5.0.  It didn't 
    seem like TDF 1 was when I saw that one before; it seemed more 
    like a Gorizont (fainter, very long period of visibility).  Also, 
    at the site, each time that I checked the position to look at it 
    again, it seemed a little off from what I had for TDF 1.  I took a 
    very good position (for me!).  Two of its flashes straddled 57 AQL 
    (19:54:37, -8.23 [2000] according to HomePlanet).  So it came 
    extremely close to that star at about 2002/09/03 05:48:44.8 UTC, 
    plus or minus less than 10.43 seconds.  When I ran the position 
    with Findsat and the geo.tle file, I did *not* get TDF 1!  I got a 
    perfect match with this one:
    Cosmos 2282
    1 23168U 94038A   02242.60260228  .00000011  00000-0  00000+0 0   240 
    2 23168   3.8139  71.8718 0008263 245.7311 114.4454  1.00378738 29887 
    So I want to reserve judgment on which one this was until one 
    more night's observing!  (I wonder if Paul or anyone else looked 
    for TDF 1 last night with a much smaller field of view and got a 
    non-obs.  Rob and I were using binoculars with several degrees of 
    Here's the Encyclopedia Astronautica information on the type of 
    object that Cosmos 2282 is, a Prognoz SPRN Early Warning 
    For reference, here's a TDF 1 elset:
    1 19621U 88098A   02241.55425113  .00000019  00000-0  10000-3 0  4592 
    2 19621   4.9152  74.6059 0005200 349.6377  10.5905  0.99192577 47548 
    Cosmos 2344 (97-028A, 24827).  Two or three years ago I saw a
    very bright, very long flare from this one, on a northbound
    evening pass.  It's doing that type of pass again, and each 
    night, as it precesses to the west, it seems to be getting 
    brighter.  It's in a pretty high orbit and moves fairly 
    slowly, and so, especially since it's pretty bright right now, 
    it's pretty easy to find.  (It does dim as it gets on to the 
    I saw four same-direction pairs of satellites last night! 
    They were USA 160 A and C, NOSS 2-2 leader and outlier (as 
    well as the trailer), Meteor 2-20 (90-086A, 20826) and Meteor 
    2-20 Rk (90-86B, 20827), and Cosmos 1975 (88-093A, 19573) and 
    Cosmos 2239 (93-020A, 22590).  The last two actually were 
    crossers going the same direction, as Cosmos 1975 is in a much 
    lower orbit than Cosmos 2239.  These were all in a fairly wide
    binoculars field of view, of course.
    Twice in the last few nights I've seen a single UNID flash 
    that has turned out to be near the position of Telstar 401.  
    Last night it was at about 4:45:20.  I have looked for more 
    flashes there without success on both occasions, but I don't
    think I've managed a complete 130-second look yet.  (It may 
    actually require double that.)
    Also last night again saw a few flashes of 90004 (formerly 
    Observing site was BCRC: 30.315N, 97.866W, 280m.
    Ed Cannon - - Austin, Texas, USA
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