Re: Debris question

From: Tony Beresford (
Date: Wed Sep 03 2008 - 05:47:56 UTC

  • Next message: Bjoern Gimle@GlocalNet: "Re: Debris question"

    At 10:37 AM 3/09/2008, Lawrence Garrett wrote:
    >Greetings group:
    >Last night's skies once again kept me from going after asteroids in 
    >my telescope, so I used
    >my binoculars to spot a few satellites. I tracked a few in my 
    >7x35mms, and 20x80mms.
    >When I use my bino's in this fashion, I like to choose a 
    >constellation to see what might
    >pass by. Using my mounted 20x80mms, I spotted and tracked Thorad 
    >Aegna D for about
    >2m30s. Predicted Mv  8.8, this was first seen tumbling in and out of 
    >view from about Mv 9.5
    >to invisible. This tumbling stopped and the sat brightened to about 
    >Mv 8.0, then it began
    >to fade and tumble once again. Mostly likely quite normal for 
    >satellite debris. But at the time
    >I did not know it was debris, as GUIDE 8.0 did not list it as such. 
    >A nice unexpected show
    >to make up for "asteroid useless" skies.  My recent tries for 
    >asteroids in the 14.5Mv range
    >are lost to hazy skies.
    >While I may never submit positional observations to the group, I was 
    >wondering what infomation there might be on this object. This must 
    >be some hardware needed to orbit the main sat, but
    >is there a way to tell how large this might be? It puts on good show 
    >when the angles are right
    >for sure.
    >I spotted Lacrosse 5 a few nights ago but with no unexpected results.
    The variation in brightness you saw was due to the varaition in area 
    as the Agena spun.
    The interval of constant brightness was when you were looking along 
    the spin axis
    so no change in area. The Agena D is a restartable upper stage some 8 
    meters long
    by 1.5 meters diameter.
    It was at various times mated with Atlas, Thor, Thorad,
      and Titan first stages.
    Tony Beresford
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