Saturday, October 16, 2010

Oct 15 - ten sightings

(I should be watching the OSU game, which is on behind me, but it's better if I keep my nose away from the stench that is the game that is currently in progress...)

Nearly a week since my last session. It was nice to take a break.

One thing I've meant to mention since maybe my third or fourth session is that the eyes can play tricks on you. Sometimes you SWEAR something is moving and then, the more you look at it you realize... no... no it's not.

Anyhoo... The start of this session was a bit awkward*. M was out getting groceries and lil N was vegged out in front of the TV. So I would look at my sheet, go out, spot something and then come back in.

Here's the time-line of this evening:
Date: 15-Oct-2010 Friday

7:38pm - IGS 1 H2A Rocket - 2.6 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 2003-009-C
First sighting! This object is the rocket body of a Japanese H2-A (or HII-A). This rocket launched 2 IGS (Information Gathering Satellite) satellites. This was the first launch of this particular satellite program. One of the satellites was an optical spy satellite. The other was a SAR satellite.

8:02pm - Cosmos 1626 - 2.7 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1985-009-A
This object is the Russian Cosmos 1626 satellite. This particular satellite is used for ELINT (Electronic Intelligence) and is part of the Tselina-D program. This is my first sighting of this object.

8:18pm - Cosmos 405 - 3.1 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1971-028-A
First sighting! This object, Cosmos 405, is one of two older satellites I was trying to spot. Launched in 1971, this is the second Tselina-D satellite launched into orbit. Tselina-D satellites were launched between the years of 1970 and 1992. The final Tselina-D should have been launched in 1994, however this launch failed.

I saw this one at the same time as I saw TacSat-3. Read below for more on that.

8:18pm - TacSat 3 - 3.3 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 2009-028-A
This object is TacSat-3 which is a U.S. recon satellite used to provide real-time data to troops on the ground. This is the second time for me seeing this satellite. The first was on October 10th 2010.

The cool thing about the Cosmos 405 and TacSat-3 sighting is that I could see them at the same time. Now, you could say I've done this before. That is true. I've seen satellites chasing each other. However, this case is different. Instead of them travelling in the same direction, they were on very different paths. Cosmos 405 was heading north to south, while TacSat 3 was heading west to east. Also interesting is that both satellites were the 28th launch of the year they were deployed, however they were deployed 38 years apart.

8:32pm - Cosmos 540 Rocket - 3.3 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1972-104-B
Another first! This object was the second of the old objects I was trying to spot this evening. This is a Kosmos-3M rocket body which, in 1972, launched Cosmos 540 (also still in orbit) which is a military and government communications satellite.

8:38pm - Resurs 1-4 Rocket - 2.0 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1998-043-G
Sighting number 8.

8:40pm - Cosmos 2333 Rocket - 2.1 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1996-051-B
This is my first sighting of this Zenit-2 rocket body which launched the Russian ELINT satellite Cosmos 2333.

8:41pm - Cosmos 1452 Rocket - 4.3 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1983-031-B
This is my first sighting of this Kosmos-3M rocket body which, in 1983, launched Cosmos 1452 (also still in orbit) which is a military and government communications satellite.

8:44pm - Shijian 6G Rocket - 4.3 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 2010-051-C
This is a Long March 4B rocket which launched the latest pair of Shi Jian 6 satellites (SJ-6G and SJ-6H).

8:51pm - Cosmos 2219 Rocket - 2.5 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1992-076-B
First sighting! This object is Zenit-2 rocket body. It launched the Cosmos 2219 Tselina-2 ELINT satellite.

* Have you looked at the word 'awkward'. It's a weird looking word with the 'wkw' in there.

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