Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Two Keyholes

Yesterday evening I spotted two Keyholes, an old one and a new one: USA 129 (96-072A, #24680) and USA 186 (05-042A, #28888).

USA 186 was the first, and I saw it emerging from eclipse at 40 degrees altitude under the tail of the Big Dipper at 20:13 UTC. It was very irregular in brightness and made at least two flashes, the brightest of which was about mag. +1 at 20:13:05 +/- 3 sec UTC. I caught only a very faint marginal trail on the photograph,marginall also afteer some digital image enhancement. The endpoint was undeterminable, the startpoint I hope is indeed the startpoint...

Half an hour later USA 129 made a zenith pass around 20:47 UTC. It was too faint to be either seen or photographed in the actual zenith (20:46:40 UTC) but clearly showed up a minute later, well past the zenith. Good trail on the image, no problems measuring it.

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