Old 17-12-2006, 10:30 PM
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sheeny (Al)
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Rosat Satellite

Observed a Satellite moving high to the NE towards the E-SE, quite bright and moving at similar speed to the ISS. From Heavens-Above bright satellite predictions the satellite was identified as Rosat, not ISS.

Rosat pass began (at 10 degrees alt) at 21:06:24 at NNW.
Max altitude at 21:09:40, 59 degrees and NE.
Pass ended at 21:12:58, 10 degrees alt in the SW.

Rosat first observed at or very near maximum altitude, and observed with 20x80 binoculars to roughly East when obscured by light pollution from street light. Was not able to regain sight of satellite before the end of the pass. According to Heavens-Above the satellite was at magnitude 3.2 for this pass. The colour was slightly orange (perhaps due to smoke in the atmosphere?).

Identification USSPACECOM Catalog No.:20638
International Designation Code:1990-049-A

Satellite Details
Orbit: 407 x 412 km, 53.0
Intrinsic brightness (Mag): 5.2(at 1000km distance, 50% illuminated)
Maximum brightness (Mag): 1.3 (at perigee, 100% illuminated)
Date (UTC):June 2, 1990

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Old 18-12-2006, 09:03 PM
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Mick (Michael)

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That is a very interesting satellite Al. I haven't observed a Rosat pass, I will keep an eye out for this historic X-Ray Observatory in the future.
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Old 18-12-2006, 09:10 PM
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JohnG (John)
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That was a nice pass Al, it flared quite brightly near maximum altitude. Was orange to me as well, due to the smoke, Sirius was orange as well, could only just see Orion's Belt the smoke is so thick down here.


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