TDF 1, or a different one?

From: Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
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 
    FOV.)
    
    Here's the Encyclopedia Astronautica information on the type of 
    object that Cosmos 2282 is, a Prognoz SPRN Early Warning 
    Satellite:
    
    http://www.astronautix.com/craft/prozsprn.htm
    
    For reference, here's a TDF 1 elset:
    
    TDF-1         
    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 
    north.)
    
    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 
    90907.)
    
    Whew!
    
    Observing site was BCRC: 30.315N, 97.866W, 280m.
    
    Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas, USA
    
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