This evening was a super short session. 10 minutes to be exact. But I managed to nab 4 objects in that time. I knew it was going to be short when I opened the door and heard my neighbor out in his hot-tub watching a football game or maybe a baseball game. Then, 6 minutes in, the dog next door did his duty to alert the owner that there was someone out there. They of course told him to 'be quiet' (they are nice people and literally said just that in a hushed tone). Poor dog was just doin' his ... erm her job. Then I heard the neighbor's girlfriend arrive outside which is when I called it an evening. The wife already worries that the neighbors think I'm a peeping tom, but remaining out there with my next door neighbor and his girlfriend in the hot tub would have just been weird. There wasn't anything that I ABSOLUTELY HAD TO SEE* and coming in early would mean I would get to spend some extra time with the wife. So it's all good.
Here's the time-line of this evening:
Date: 17-Oct-2010 Sunday
7:36pm - Cosmos 2237 Rocket - 2.2 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1993-016-B
This is a Zenit-2 rocket body which launched Cosmos 2237, a Tselina-2 ELINT Russian satellite.
7:37pm - Shijian 7 LM Rocket - 3.0 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 2005-024-B
This is my first sighting of this specific Chang Zheng-2D (str.) rocket body (aka Long March 2D). And no, I don't know what the str. means yet. This rocket was used to launch the only Shijian 7 experimental scientific satellite.
7:42pm - JB-3 or Zi Yuan-2B - 3.1 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 2002-049-A
First sighting! This is one of three Zi Yuan-2 (or Ziyuan-2)satellites. This happens to be the middle child ZY 2B (or JB-3 2). Reported by the Chinese government (and NASA) to be an earth imaging satellite however some speculate that is one of the Chinese governments first high resolution military imaging satellites.
7:45pm - Cosmos 2058 Rocket - 3.0 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1990-010-B
This is a Tsyklon-3 rocket body which launched Cosmos 2058, a Tselina-R ELINT Russian satellite. This is the first spotting of a Tselina-R launch. There have only been four of them to date (Cosmos 1508, 2058, 2151 and 2242) between 1986 and 1993. One could assume that no more will be put into orbit.
* OK, I have to admit there were a couple of PAM satellites up there. Yeah, I don't know what they are either. There were a couple of other new names in this list for this evening: GPS 53 PAM, NAVSTAR 53 R/B (PAM-D), OrbitalEx Cn Rocket, Cosmos 2469 Pl or P1 (I'm not sure which), IRAS rocket, Resurs DK-1 and Lacrosse 2. I attempted to see Lacrosse 2 a couple of days ago, however it's path is quite odd. Usually you'll see them go from N to S or E to W or some direction to another, but in general they equate into moving horizontally. Lacrosse 2 (at least at the moment) is going NNW 10 degrees to NNW 35 degrees when it disappears. In other words, it's traveling up (vertically) in a straight line. That can be hard to spot, even more so since its time being visible is also short.