Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Of NOSS-es, strays and neighbours

Yesterday the 22nd of January started clear and ended clear, albeit with a near full moon. I did an observing session with the ETX-70 telescope in morning twilight as well as in the evening.

The result: positions on the NOSS 3-4 pair (07-027A & C), the NOSS 3-3 pair (05-004A & C) and the NOSS 3-2 pair (03-054A & C), plus stray observations of the ELINT sat USA 32 (88-078A) and the spent Russian rocket Kosmos 1171r (80-026B). I also observed the NOSS 2-2 C & D pair, but couldn't log points (There was only a short time to re-aim the telescope between this pass and the NOSS 3-3 pass, and it then took me just too long to verify I had the correct star field. I saw them pass the FOV but couldn't get to clock them in time.).

During the morning session I unintendedly startled one of my neighbours when she came out of her house and saw me on the courtyard with my telescope. She went into a panicky fit as a result. This was just as I was about to catch 07-027A. The resulting melée and the added unexpected appearance of 88-078A as a "stray" only 11 seconds before 07-027A make me suggest to use the 07-027A point with some caution (by the time of 07-027C I should have regained my composure).

Some time after the end of the evening session, I portrayed the nearly full Moon. Below image is a quick shot made by simply pressing the (non-removable) objective lens of my Canon Ixus compact on the eyepiece of my ETX-70 telescope. Some after-editing has been done to the image to bring out detail.

(click image to enlarge)

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