Observed Passes of Satellites, Rocket Bodies (etc.) in 2020

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Christopher K.
Posts: 5468
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Observed Passes of Satellites, Rocket Bodies (etc.) in 2020

Post by Christopher K. »

A train of forty-five STARLINKs (there's no way I'm listing all of their names, which apparently are capital letters) will pass into the Baton Rouge sky between 7:07pm and 7:18pm CST. The average predicted magnitude is 4.4, with four predicted to get brighter than 4.0. For sharp-eyed people with not too much light pollution, that’s unaided-eye; otherwise, a bino is required.

The train will rise straight up from the horizon in the northwest (some will be north-northwest). I would use a two-degree field-of-view centered on altitude 29˚, to see them potentially pass into the Earth's shadow--or altitude 27˚, to just see them. Chris Peat's prediction has most of them dimming inside the "house" shape of Cepheus.

Of course, plug your coordinates into Heavens Above for more accurate prediction data...
https://www.heavens-above.com/

Christopher K.
Posts: 5468
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Observed Passes of Satellites, Rocket Bodies (etc.) in 2020

Post by Christopher K. »

The first of three Edge of Night twilight viewing sessions take place the Friday before the change from Standard Time to the questionably-helpful Daylight time. That will be Friday 6 March from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. The schedule will be arranged and posted soon. We do know that the waxing gibbous Moon and Venus will be available, and the visible passes of two defunct rocket bodies are predicted. The event has no admission fee and is for all ages. HRPO personnel encourage patrons to bring binoculars.

Christopher K.
Posts: 5468
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Observed Passes of Satellites, Rocket Bodies (etc.) in 2020

Post by Christopher K. »

This is the schedule for this evening's Edge of Night session...
5:30pm to 6pm = NASA TV {last half of "Storms Across the Solar System"}
5:30pm to 6:30pm = daytime main floor displays available
5:30pm to 7:30pm = viewing of Waxing Gibbous Moon [mag -12.7]
5:35pm to 5:40pm = Front Desk {"Crew for First Commercial Vehicle Flights"}
5:45pm to 5:50pm = Front Desk {"Our Destiny Lies Above Us"}
5:45pm to 6:05pm = tour of large dome
5:55pm to 6:00pm = Front Desk {"The Leading Edge of Flight"}
6:00pm to 7:00pm = NASA TV {"Is There Life on Mars?"}
6:00pm to 7:30pm = viewing of Venus [mag -4.2]
6:08pm = “civil twilight” begins (search for crepuscular rays)
6:10pm to 6:15pm = Front Desk {"60 Years in 60 Seconds"}
~6:18pm = appearance of Sirius [mag -1.6]
~6:24pm = appearance of Canopus [mag -0.9]
6:33pm = “civil twilight” ends; “nautical twilight” begins
˜6:33pm = appearance of Capella [mag 0.0] and Rigel [mag 0.1]
˜6:35pm = appearance of Procyon [mag 0.3]
˜6:44pm = appearance of the Pleiades Star Cluster [mag 1.2]
˜6:47pm = appearance of Bellatrix [mag 1.6]
˜6:50pm = appearance of Polaris [mag 1.9]
˜6:51pm = appearance of Saiph [mag 2.0]
6:55pm to 7:00pm = Front Desk {"Space Station at 17,500 Miles Per Hour"}
7:00pm to 7:30pm = NASA TV {"Earth Expeditions Episode 3"}
7:01pm = "nautical twilight” ends; “astronomical twilight” begins
˜7:06pm = appearance of The Kids of Auriga [mag 3.6]
7:10pm to 7:15pm = Front Desk {"Launch Pad Water Deluge System Test"}
7:20pm to 7:25pm = Front Desk {"Claire de Lune 4K: Moon Images from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter"}
7:28pm = “astronomical twilight” ends; night begins
7:33pm to 7:40pm = beginning of predicted pass of an Atlas SLV-3C Centaur [mag 2.1]
The gate to HRPO opens at 5:15pm.

Christopher K.
Posts: 5468
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Observed Passes of Satellites, Rocket Bodies (etc.) in 2020

Post by Christopher K. »

Upcoming predicted passes for tonight:
25 March = the Lacrosse 4 rocket, max mag 1.8 while moving NW to NE (max altitude 49˚NE at 7:53pm).
25 March = the Cosmos 2237 rocket, max mag 2.2 while moving SW to NE (max altitude 86˚NW at 8:20pm).
25 March = an Atlas 3B Centaur rocket body , max mag 1.9 while moving W to SE (max altitude 45˚SW at 8:26pm).

Remember, any passes that peak above forty-five degrees may be seen more comfortably while sitting or lying down.

Christopher K.
Posts: 5468
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Observed Passes of Satellites, Rocket Bodies (etc.) in 2020

Post by Christopher K. »

Upcoming predicted passes for tonight:
26 March = the Cosmos 2237 rocket, max mag 2.2 while moving SW to NE (max altitude 89˚SE at 7:53pm).
26 March = an H-IIA 202 rocket (Spacetrack #27601), max mag 2.1 while moving SE to N (max altitude 62˚NE at 8:37pm).

Yes, you see the same "old friends" often. Most of the time I'm good at keeping a log of the dates and times I've seen these objects. Many of them I've seen dozens of times.

Christopher K.
Posts: 5468
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Observed Passes of Satellites, Rocket Bodies (etc.) in 2020

Post by Christopher K. »

Upcoming predicted passes for tonight:
31 March = Zenit 2/SL 16 rocket body (Spacetrack #28353), max mag 2.4 while moving SW to NW (max altitude 76˚NW at 8:06pm).
---It will clip the Winter Triangle and pass very close to the Moon.
31 March = Proton M/Briz M debris field (Spacetrack #28661), max mag 2.3 while moving NW to NE (max altitude 55˚NE at 8:50pm).
---It will fade just as it goes over the Big Dipper. And yes, it is a debris field!
31 March = USA 186, max mag 1.9 while moving S to NW (max altitude 78˚W at 8:54pm).
---It will fade into view as it goes over Procyon and through Gemini.
31 March = the Cosmos 1943 rocket, max mag 2.3 while moving NW to NE (max altitude 60˚NE at 9:32pm).
---It will fade just as it goes over the Big Dipper.

Christopher K.
Posts: 5468
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Observed Passes of Satellites, Rocket Bodies (etc.) in 2020

Post by Christopher K. »

Upcoming predicted passes for the night of 1 April:
Zenit 2/SL 16 rocket body (Spacetrack #28353), max mag 2.4 while moving SW to NE (max altitude 79˚NW at 7:52pm).
---It will pass between Gemini and Auriga.
an H-IIA 202 rocket body (Spacetrack #27601), max mag 2.0 while moving SE to NW (max altitude 87˚NE at 8:50pm).
---It will pass between Leo and the Winter Triangle.
the Cosmos 1943 rocket, max mag 2.1 while moving N to E (max altitude 59˚NE at 9:14pm).
---It will fade right after it cuts through the Big Dipper.

Christopher K.
Posts: 5468
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Observed Passes of Satellites, Rocket Bodies (etc.) in 2020

Post by Christopher K. »

Upcoming predicted passes for the night of 3 April:
Cosmos 1626, max mag 2.2 while moving N to SE (max altitude 51˚E at 8:03pm).
---It will cut through the bowl of the Big Dipper, then through the body of Leo.
the Cosmos 1943 rocket, max mag 2.5 while moving N to SE (max altitude 43˚NE at 8:35pm).
---It will cut through the handle of the Big Dipper, then pass just under Leo.
USA 186, max mag 1.7 while moving SE to N (max altitude 86˚E at 8:49pm).
---It will exit the Earth's shadow in Hydra, then pass between Leo and Gemini.
Cosmos 1726, max mag 2.5 while moving SW to N (max altitude 62˚W at 9:01pm).
---It will cut through the Winter Triangle, through the bodies of Gemini and over the Auriga Pentagon.
Chang Zheng 3C rocket body (Spacetrack #31114), max mag 2.5 while moving NE to SW (max altitude 87˚NW at 9:25pm).
---It will pass almost directly overhead, with Leo and the Moon on one side, and Gemini and the Winter Traingle on the other.

Christopher K.
Posts: 5468
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Observed Passes of Satellites, Rocket Bodies (etc.) in 2020

Post by Christopher K. »

The International Space Station passes overhead every ninety minutes, but only a few of those passes has the ISS structure reflect so much sunlight that the object can be seen with the unaided eye! This occurs about six to eight times per week.

It's happening tonight! From 8:18pm to 8:22pm CDT the ISS will pass from the northwest to the northeast, maxing out at twenty-one degrees off the horizon. That's rather low but the view is possible from several locations, especially if you can move away from any northeastern obstructions. The ISS at maximum brilliance will shine brighter than Sirius but not as bright as Venus.

Christopher K.
Posts: 5468
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Observed Passes of Satellites, Rocket Bodies (etc.) in 2020

Post by Christopher K. »

The sky is always clearer after a rain--excess dust is out of the way temporarily. NOAA's prediction is for an excellent sky!

Upcoming predicted passes for the night of 13 April:
Cosmos 1300, max mag 2.5 while moving S to N (max altitude 72˚E at 8:34pm).
---This is an old Soviet intelligence satellite. It will cut through the head of Leo, then through the bowl of the Big Dipper.
USA 186, max mag 2.2 while moving SW to NW (max altitude 58˚W at 9:01pm).
---This is an American military satelliate. It will pass extremely close to Procyon, then cut through Gemini.
Hubble Space Telescope, max mag 1.5 while moving W to SW (max altitude 39˚SW at 9:17pm).
---It will cut through the Winter Triangle, then fade into the Earth's shadow.

Here is the NOAA forecast for 9pm to 5am (CDT)...
precipitation potential, 0%
sky cover, 3%
relative humidity, 80%
temperature, 14˚C
surface wind, N 11 km/h

This whole time Danko's Clear Dark Sky ratings are "above average" (4 out of 5) for transparency "poor" (2 out of 5) for seeing...
https://weather.gc.ca/astro/transparence_e.html
https://weather.gc.ca/astro/seeing_e.html

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