Monday, 17 January 2011

The FIA Radar, USA 179 (SDS 3-3) and more

On the 5th, 9th, 10th and on the 16th of January, the skies shortly cleared in the evening and I observed the FIA 1 Radar (10-046A) making some nice passes through the winter sky. On the 16th it was a particularly close race with clouds coming in (the last image in the series has clouds in the image frame).

Below are two images: one from the 10th showing the FIA 1 Radar passing close to the Pleiades; the other showing it passing through the alpha Persei association on Jan 16th.

click images to enlarge

I also observed the Molniya orbit satellite USA 179 (SDS 3-3) on the 16th, which was close to the alpha Persei association too. As it was too faint for the 50mm lens, I used the Carl Zeiss Jena 180mm lens for it (brightest star in image is alpha Persei):

click image to enlarge

Other objects observed include PAN (09-047A) on the 9th of January. It is still in the fixed position at 49.0 E where it is since December 24 (see earlier post here). That same evening, Mentor 4 (USA 202), Mentor 2 and the Milstar 5 r/b were observed as well. A flashing H2A rocket, 06-059A, was captured as a stray. On the 5th of January, the IGS R2 r/b was captured in twilight, being very fast and very bright.

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