Monday, October 11, 2010

Evening session

Managed to get back from Cinci in time to head outside of a little bit. Finally got to see the Hubble Space Telescope. I literally walked outside, turned to the south and there it was. Usually the Marysville lights kill the skyline over that way, but this evening it was really clear with zilcho clouds so it wasn't too bad.

BTW, I'm still working on the session from Oct 8th when I saw 25 objects. I'll post something when I finally get that session written up.

Here's the time-line of this evening:
Date: 10-Oct-2010 Sunday

8:36pm - Hubble Space Telescope - 3.0 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1990-037-B
FINALLY! I've been trying to catch the Hubble Space Telescope for a while. But it seems like it is always in the south which is always flushed out with light pollution from downtown Marysville. Regardless, tonight was the lucky night. It was nice and bright. Here are some pics from the Hubble Space Telescope.

8:37pm - TacSat 3 - 3.3 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 2009-028-A
First sighting! TacSat 3 is a U.S. recon satellite. It is designed to show that real-time data can be collected from space and then provided to combatant commanders in the field. The satellite contains all of the following: The Advanced Responsive Tactically Effective Military Imaging Spectrometer (ARTEMIS) hyperspectral imager, the Ocean Data Telemetry Microsatellite Link and the Space Avionics Experiment. All that stuff sounds cool. It can get data to the field 10 minutes after it is observed from space. Sweeeeeeeet!

8:42pm - Tansuo 1 LM2r - 3.2 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 2004-012-C
It wasn't until today that I realized that I've seen this object 6 times. The first time I saw this one was during my first satellite observation session on September 13th. I don't think I need to speak about this one anymore (since I've probably talked about it five times already.

8:59pm - Resurs 1-4 Rocket - 2.6 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1998-043-G
Observation #7 for ye olde and bright faithful. Also, according to my spreadsheet, this is also my 100th object observed!!!

9:00pm - Cosmos 2227 Rocket - 2.3 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1992-093-B
This is my first sighting of this Zenit-2 rocket body. It launched the Kosmos 2227 satellite which is a Russian electronic intelligence satellite from the Tselina-2 program.

9:04pm - Meteor 3M Rocket- 4.4 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 2001-056-F
This is another Zenit-2 rocket body (and another first sighting). It was used to launch 5 satellites: Meteor-3M 1, Kompass, Badr B, Maroc-Tubsat and Reflector. I observed the Meteor-3M 1 satellite on October 6th, but haven't seen any of the other satellites thus far.

9:13pm - APEX - 4.5 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1994-046-A
This object is a satellite for the Advanced Photovoltaic Experiment (APEX). The satellite was launched using a Pegasus rocket which is not your typical rocket since it is launched from an airplane. I tried reading about what the APEX studied, but my brain is a bit fried so... read it for yourself. :P Oh, and this is my first sighting of this satellite.

9:18pm - Cosmos 2237 Rocket - 2.3 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1993-016-B
This is another Zenit-2 rocket body (and again, another first sighting). It launched the Kosmos 2237 satellite which is yet another Russian ELINT (electronic intelligence) satellite.

9:18pm - Int1002BrzTank - 5.0 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 2004-022-B
This is the second time I've seen this Briz-M upper stage tank. While the Briz-M deployed most of it's payloads, one blight on the Briz-M's record is the launch of an Arabsat communications satellite in 2006. The launched failed and left the Briz-M and the satellite in an unusable orbit. A year later, the Briz-M exploded and created 1000 pieces of space debris. Oooof!

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