Saturday, September 25, 2010

A couple more

The kiddo went to bed just before 8:30pm, so I quickly went down stairs and jotted down about 10 satellites that were occurring in the next hour. One never knows how long the Mrs will be up there. I got about a half hour in and saw 2 of 5 that I had noted. Part of the problem was that many were in the east, which is blocked from my house.

But being in the east didn't stop me from seeing the first on the list. This sighting was a Vostok-2 rocket (this particular model is the Vostok 8A92M) which launched the Meteor 1-31 Russian land resource satellite on July 10 1981. Int'l code for this object is 1981-065B.

I missed a couple more including a bright Resurs 1-4 Rocket (Int'l Code 1998-043G) which I believe I spotted before. Not sure how that occurred since, while the sky had a couple of clouds, for the most part the sky was clear.

The next one I am going to have to guess on. I saw it passing N to S, nearly directly overhead. It was 8:45pm. It was around the time of Cosmos 1703 which was on my list. However, Cosmos 1703 wasn't supposed to even be in the north until 8:49pm. There was one which I didn't have listed (and was only listed on one site), which was Cosmos 1818 which was much closer to that time (though the suggested magnitude would have seemingly made it very hard to see, but this seemed fairly bright. Anyhoo, since I trust the time more than the magnitude, I'll say this one was Cosmos 1818 which is a Russian radar ocean reconnaissance satellite (RORSAT) launched on February 1 1987 aboard a Tsyklon-2 rocket. It contains a nuclear reactor. Cool! Oddly, according to Wikipedia, this particular satellite fragmented into 30 pieces on July 4, 2008. So maybe I did see Cosmos 1703. *shrug* The Int'l code for Cosmos 1818 is 1987-011A.

Of course, since I believe I was seeing Cosmos 1703, my time table was all messed up so I was probably looking in the wrong place at the wrong time. Luckily, my wife returned and we went in to watch some TV which spared me from further insanity.

I've been trying to come up with my lists the day before, which seems to actually work out quite well. Typically I like to go out the minute lil N goes upstairs, so instead of spending a half hour writing down a list for the next hour, I can just grab my list (which I typically write up for 8:30 - 10:00pm) and go.

I need to get me a cheap-o dollar watch with a light on it so I can 1) sync my watch with the int'l atomic clock (which is what i believe the other sat obs site use) and 2) I can use the little light to help see my paper that I write all my notes on. Even when writing it on white paper with a big fat sharpie, it is still kinda hard to read so I usually end up going to the sliding door where there is usually a crack in the blinds that I can see with.

Updated June 21 2011 to put the sightings in my standard template format

Here's the time-line of this evening:
Date: 24-Sep-2010 Friday

8:39 PM - Name: Meteor 1-31 Rocket - Magnitude: 3.2
Int'l Designator: 1981-065-B

8:43 PM - Name: Cosmos 1818 - Magnitude: 4.4
Int'l Designator: 1987-011-A

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