Thursday, October 21, 2010

17 objects on Oct 22

This might be a speed record. I went out around 7:25pm and came back in around 8:35pm. In a little over an hour I saw 17 objects. It didn't even seem like I was rushing. This evening was special because I saw all three of the COSMO-SkyMed satellites (including the first sighting of SkyMed 2). The fourth (and final) SkyMed satellite is set to be launched around Halloween.

Here's the time-line of this evening:
Date: 22-Oct-2010 Friday

7:28 PM - SkyMed 1 - 3.0 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 2007-023-A
Launched on June 8th 2007, this is the first of the SkyMed satellites.

7:28 PM - Resurs 1-4 Rocket - 3.3 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1998-043-G
Sighting #12... almost halfway to #25

7:30 PM - Nimiq 4 Tnk - 2.7 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 2008-044-B
This object is a Russian Breeze (Briz-M) upper stage rocket tank of the Proton-M rocket. This rocket launched a telecom sat for Bell TV and EchoStar (Dish Network) - Nimiq is Inuit for 'force that binds things together'. Unlike last time I spotted this object (9/27/2010), it did not appear to be strobing.

7:33 PM - IRS 1D - 3.6 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1997-057-A
First sighting! This object, IRS 1D, is one of many Indian Remote Sensing satellites. These satellites are for earth observation which help support the local economy by imaging water resources, agriculture areas and forests.

7:35 PM - Shijian 7 LM Rocket - 4.4 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 2005-027-B
This is my third observation of this Long March / Chang Zheng 2D rocket.

7:48 PM - Tansuo 1 LM2r - 3.9 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 2004-012-C
This is my seventh observation of this Long March 2C rocket.

7:55 PM - Cosmos 1220 - 3.2 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1980-089-A
This object is Kosmos 1220, a Russian ELINT satellite. Now, you might say "Oh, you've seen a thousand of those already". However this one is different. It seems the Russians developed two different ELINT systems. One is the Tselina system, which I've seen many many many of these. This one however, is for the other system known as the US system developed by the Russian Navy. This particular satellite is a US-P model.

7:57 PM - Lacrosse 2 - 1.6 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1991-017-A
This is my 2nd sighting of Lacrosse 2, the NRO recon satellite.

7:58 PM - ERBS - 2.8 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1984-108-B
This object is the ERSB satellite. This is my second sighting of this object.

7:58 PM - SkyMed 3 - 3.2 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 2008-054-B
Launched on October 25th 2008, this is the third of the SkyMed satellites. This is my first sighting of this satellite.

8:06 PM - Cosmos 2228 - 3.0 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1992-094-A
Second day in a row for this guy, which of course is a Russian Tselina-D ELINT satellite.

8:07 PM - Cosmos 1315 - 3.0 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1981-103-A
First sighting! This object is Kosmos 1315, a Russian Tselina-D ELINT satellite. It was launched in 1981 using a Vostok-2M rocket.

8:11 PM - OrbitalEx Cn Rocket - 2.4 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 2007-006-G
This is my third observation of this Atlas 5 Centaur upper state in three consecutive days.

8:16 PM - SkyMed 2 - 5.0 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 2007-059-A
Launched on December 9th 2007, this is the second of the SkyMed satellites. I had been trying to catch this one for the past couple of days but it kept eluding me until this evening. This is my first sighting of this satellite (so, of the three I saw this evening, two were 'first sightings').

8:18 PM - Cosmos 975 Rocket - 2.3 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1978-004-B
First sighting! This object is a Vostok-2M rocket used to launch Kosmos 975, a Russian Tselina-D ELINT satellite, on 10 January 1978.

8:22 PM - Lacrosse 3 - 2.2 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1997-064-A
This is Lacrosse 3, the NRO recon satellite.

8:25 PM - Cosmos 1825 Rocket - 3.4 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1987-024-B
First sighting! This object is a Tsyklon-3 rocket used to launch Kosmos 1825, a Russian Tselina-D ELINT satellite, in 1987.

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