Sunday, September 13, 2009

More observations from last evening

The clouds that threatened last evenings HTV-1 observation (see previous post) moved out somewhat later, allowing me to bag several objects.

I observed both of the evening KH-12 Keyholes, USA 129 (96-072A) and USA 186 (05-042A). USA 129 was very bright (mag. -1) while ascending through Aquila low in the south, yielding some very fine pictures of which this is the first:

click image to enlarge

The other KH-12, USA 186, featured a slow bright flare to mag. -2 around 21:10:35 UTC (12 Sep), alas outside the camera view.

Some high altitude objects were captured again as well: the by now familiar USA 184 ELINT/SBIRS (06-027A), the SDS-3 USA 198 (07-060A) and the USA 144/Misty-2 Decoy (99-028C).

I recently obtained the launch patches of both USA 184 and USA 198:

click images to enlarge

The USA 198 patch (bottom) shows the satellite constellation it is part of: two Molniya orbits and a geostationary orbit. The Latin text roughly translates to "Beware of our Sting".

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