Chasing Calipso - Laser Observation 2006-09-16

From: Gregg Hendry (
Date: Sun Sep 17 2006 - 13:37:59 EDT

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    Laser light from Calipso was observed at 09:13:50 UT on 16 Sept.  An observer was stationed on the LIDAR ground track obtained from  ( A digital camera was located on the predicted sub-satellite ground track (350 meters east of the Lidar track) and another was placed about 290 meters east of the ground track.  The sky was crystal clear and dark, with no evidence of haze.
    The observer saw a brief green flash at zenith of about 1st magnitude and no beams.  
    The ground track camera recorded a green spot at zenith comparable to magnitude 5 stars nearby in the 15 second exposure and a small green smudge a little east of the spot.
    The camera east of the ground track recorded a larger spot about 15 arcminutes in diameter and overexposed in the center.
    From this and other observations made over the last several months under clear skies it appears that the best apparitions of the Calipso laser appear on or east of the sub-satellite ground track.
    Gregg Hendry
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