Saturday, March 21, 2009

More flashing Iridium 33 wreckage, ISS, USA 200 and other high objects

As I wrote in my previous post with the image of USA 129 flaring, yesterday evening I hauled a rich batch of objects.

It started in twilight with a nice pass of the International Space Station (ISS). The image below shows it rising through Orion:

(click image to enlarge)

Next I photographed passes of Lacrosse 3 (97-064A) and the NOSS 3-4 rocket (07-027B).

The wreckage of Iridium 33 (97-051C) was observed flashing again. Two photographs yielded five flashes, and like 3 days ago they fit a flash periodicity of 4.6 to 4.7 seconds. The timings were derived by measuring the flash positions astrometrically, and fitting the obtained positions to the most recent Iridium 33 tle. Here are the two images, with the flashes indicated:

(click images to enlarge)

I also targeted some HEO (High Earth Orbit) objects again, this time experimenting with different camera settings. USA 200 (08-010A) was captured again, this time somewhat better than 3 days ago:

(click image to enlarge)

I combined 4 of the images into an animated GIF, showing the movement of the sky and the satellite over a 1 minute period:

On the same image series I captured a piece of debris, USA 144 debris (99-028C), as a stray. In addition, I imaged another object in a Molniya orbit, USA 179 (04-034A) and the USA 198 rocket (07-060B) this evening.

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