Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The past week saw several bright evenings, yielding a rich haul of satellite positions. Observations were done in the evenings of September 16, 17, 20 and 21. Data were obtained on some of "the usual suspects": the KH-12 Keyholes USA 129 and USA 186, the SAR Lacrosse 2, the HEO objects USA 184 and USA 198, and the USA 144 decoy.

Both KH-12 Keyholes USA 129 and 186 slowly flared to -1 at September 16th: 96-072A at about 19:44:27 UTC in the southeast; 05-042A at 21:01:46 UTC in the northwest.

USA 129 showed another bright slow flare peaking about 20:00:51 UTC on 17 Sep, just after the end of an exposure. I captured the rising part of it.

Below are two pictures of last evening (21 Sept), showing the KH-12 Keyhole plus a faint stray near M31, the Andromeda galaxy: and showing the USA 144 decoy passing close to the ELINT USA 184. The first image was made with the EF 50/2.5 macro lens, the second with the EF 100/2.8 macro USM lens.

click images to enlarge

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