Re: Debris question

From: Bjoern Gimle@GlocalNet (Gimle@GlocalNet)
Date: Wed Sep 03 2008 - 10:48:51 UTC

  • Next message: Lawrence Garrett: "Re: Debris help"

    The four objects listed in SpaceTrack as THORAD AGENA D R/B
    all passed between the head of Draco, Ursa Minor and Ursa Major
    in the NNW between 00:30 and 02:30 UTC, though they could be
    seen on the previous orbit.
    A note to Lawrence:
    When asking for assistance on satellite sightings, you should give
    your location, date and time (UTC preferred) and as much of
    satellite positions, speed and direction of motion, magnitude,
    (+flashing period) as possible.
    Accuracy helps identification, but can be relaxed the more details
    you give. A minimum is 0.1 deg of lat/long and a minute of time
    for naked eye obs, some positions for fainter objects.
    You may give siderial coordinates, nearby stars, constellations
    (or azimuth and altitude) and the time in seconds between two of them.
    If it appears to enter shadow, time and position of that helps.
    -- Björn Gimle                                            --
    -- COSPAR 5917, STAR,  +18.05447 (E), +59.34185 (N), 33 m --
    -- COSPAR 5918 WGS84,  +18.10127 (E), +59.29813 (N), 44 m --
    -- COSPAR 5919, MALMA, +18.6206  (E), +59.2615  (N), 33 m --
    ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: "Brian Webb" <>
    To: <>
    Sent: Wednesday, September 03, 2008 11:53 AM
    Subject: RE: Debris question
    > Good Morning:
    > Do any of you know the launch date, launch site, and NORAD ID number for 
    > the
    > object that Lawrence saw?
    > Regards,
    > Brian Webb
    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: Tony Beresford []
    > Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2008 10:48 PM
    > To:
    > Subject: 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.
    > Lawrence,
    > 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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