Wednesday, 9 June 2010

USA 202 and other geostationaries, and a stroboscopic show by USA 81

I am awfully behind with reporting on my observations.

In deep twilight on June 2nd, I observed USA 81 (92-023A) briefly attaining easy naked eye magnitudes in Bootes, and firing off a rapid series of flashes. The trails on both images covering this episode of bright stroboscopic behaviour partly run off the image, as I re-aimed in (too much of) a hurry. I still have to analyse the flash period. But it was impressive to see:

click images to enlarge

Apart from two Lacrosses, I also targetted the geostationary satellite Milstar 5 (02-001A) again. below image shows it together with the commercial geosats Galaxy 11 and Intelsat 802:

click image to enlarge

I also imaged another classified geostationary satellite, USA 202 (09-001A), and ELINT satellite (probably a Mentor/Advanced Orion). I had not realised it was so bright, so initially I thought the faint object on below image was USA 202 and the brighter one the commercial geosat Thuraya 2. However, the brighter object is USA 202, as it turns out (hence, the questionmarks still in below image can be removed). The satellite is at an altitude of only 17.5 degrees in the south-southeast for mu location.

click image to enlarge

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