I was gonna go out last night super early. The Buckeyes were winning and the rest of the family had headed down to Cinci for the day, so I was free to go out as early as I liked. I grabbed my clipboard and satellite sheet and stepped outside... it was coast to coast clouds. Pretty much a sheet of clouds. So, I came back inside and continued watching the Buckeyes beat Joe Pa's team. I have to say this: Penn State played very good in the first half. The second half I think the defense stepped it up a notch and started causing issues with the Lions offense.
Tonight was a different night. The moon was at about 3/4 in the south and it was bright, but it was VERY clear so I powered through using the very thin shadow of the umbrella as best I could to make sure my eyes didn't get 'burnt out'. It was cold and I only had my lightweight jacked on so I only stayed out for 45 minutes.
Here's the time-line for evening of:
Date: 14-Nov-2010 Sunday
6:45 PM - Zi Yuan-2B -or- JB-3 - 3.3 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 2002-049-A
This is my fourth sighting of JB-3 2. It's name meaning Resource-2B, it was reported by the Chinese gov't to be helping with disaster recovery, crop yeilds, etc... however it is suspected that this may be the first Chinese high-res military imaging satellite system.
6:48 PM - Cosmos 44 - 3.5 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1964-053-A
This is my second sighting of this OLD satellite. Kosmos 44 is an experimental meteorological satellite which was launched in 1964.
6:50 PM - USA 102/Darpasat - 4.7 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1994-017-B
This is my first sighting of this object. Named Darpasat, it was created by a defense think-tank Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) as an experiment to 'designed to demonstrate a low-cost, quick-reaction, high performance satellite and launch vehicle design and contruction'. It supposedly had a mission life of 3 years however it lasted 8 years due to careful battery life management. It supposedly met and exceeded all mission goals, though I can't find out what 'new technologies' were being tested. One site suggested it was for 'GPS receiver and data processor technology tests'. Another site mentioned 'Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space'. Okee dokee then.
6:52 PM - Cosmos 1766 Rocket - 3.4 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1986-055-B
This is my first sighting of this Tsyklon-3 rocket body. Also of note, this is my first object observed that was launched in 1986. Kosmos 1766 was NOT an ELINT satellite but instead an Okean-O1 series oceanographic satellite which was created for ocean observations.
6:54 PM - Iridium 4 Dl Rocket - 3.4 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1997-020-F
This is my second sighting of this Delta II (a Delta-7920-10C to be specific) rocket which launched Iridium 4.
6:58 PM - SkyMed 1 - 2.5 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 2007-023-A
This is my seventh sighting of COSMO-SkyMed 1, an Italian earth observation satellite.
7:02 PM - Cosmos 1833 Rocket - 2.8 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1987-027-B
This is my second sighting of this Zenit-2 rocket which was used to launch Kosmos 1833 which was part of one of the Russian ELINT satellite networks. Of note, I last observed this object on Sept 25 2010 and it was the first satellite which I observed at a 90 degree altitude. This evening it was at a more reasonable 51 degrees.
7:05 PM - COSMO-SkyMed 4 - 3.3 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 2010-060-A
This is my first sighting of the fourth and final satellite in the COSMO-SkyMed satellite network. I was very lucky to see this one. SkyMed 4 was launched on November 6th 2010. When I printed out my table for this evening, it was on Wednesday or Thursday. At that time, they had a different prediction posted. So, I had SkyMed 4 on my sheet. When the time came around, I looked but didn't see it anywhere. I shrugged and moved on. While looking for another satellite that was at 70 degrees, I noticed a VERY bright object moving in the opposite direction. So I wrote it down and moved on to the next thing. When I went to put in the details into my spreadsheet, I looked it up on one of the sites and noticed it was actually SkyMed 4. In those four days, they had made adjustments to the prediction! So, by sheer luck of there being something going by in that area of the sky was I able to see this one. Yay!
7:09 PM - Resurs 1-4 Rocket - 2.1 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1998-043-G
This is sighting number nineteen of Ol' Faithful. Bright as always.
7:16 PM - ASTEX - 3.6 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1971-089-A
This is my second sighting the Advanced Space Technology Experiment (ASTEX) satellite, launched in 1971.
7:21 PM - ISS - -0.4 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1998-067-A
This is my ninth sighting of the International Space Station.
As far as my one objective to see one object from each year since 1958 (no objects from 1957 are still in orbit), I'm getting a little bit closer. I still need to see objects from the following years: 1958, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1973 and 1979. Out of 52 years of spaceflight, I have seen an object from every year except for 11 of them with most of those being in the mid/late 1960s. Cool! I've also picked up a couple more Cosmos pairs (observing both the Kosmos satellite and the rocket which launched the satellite) though I'm not going to review that list this evening.