Tuesday, 28 November 2006

Satellites, ISS and an Asteroid

This morning was another clear and still morning. A bit of haze and a small patch of thin clouds every now and then. Like the previous morning, I observed Lacrosse 2 & 3 (91-017A & 97-064A) and a zenith pass of the International Space Station. I obtained 2 images and thus 4 points on each object.

97-064A and 91-017A (Lacrosses 3 & 2) appeared some 10 minutes after each other in the same sky area with almost the same sky elevations, range and illumination phase. This made me appreciate the somewhat different intrinsic brightness between the two (Lacrosse 3 seems a bit fainter), which was clear visually and to some extend also on the photographs.

(click image to enlarge)

ISS was nice and bright at about mag. -2 when emerging out of shadow crossing the legs of Ursa Major near the zenith (see image below), yet not as bright as last Friday.

Meanwhile, todays' DOU in MPEC 2006-W103 contained the publication of my latest asteroid discovery, 2002 BF32 (packed: K02B32F). It is a 1 km large (H17.6) MB II main belt asteroid which I discovered in NEAT archive images from January 2002 last week. It has perihelion at 2.1 A, aphelion at 3.1 AU and an orbital inclination of 12 degrees. The orbital arc is short, I managed to track it over only 3 nights.

(click image to enlarge)

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