Re: NanoSail-D not seen

From: Djlaszlo (
Date: Sat Jan 22 2011 - 02:08:02 UTC

  • Next message: Brad Young: "Re: NanoSail-D not seen"

    Hi all, I also did not see NanoSail D but did see an 8th mag object on 
    appropriate track, I believe was FASTSAT.  Predictions were run with 
    the Heavens-Above site, which had older elements:
    1 90027U 0        11020.08293137 -.00000469 +00000-0 -58126-4 0 00027
    2 90027 071.9753 005.7427 0021680 201.8671 158.1355 14.77033912000116
    I had 10x70 tripod mounted binoculars with a 5 degree field.  NanoSail 
    D was forecast to pass less than 2 deg from Gamma Delphini at 01h 19m 
    UT, and FASTSAT was projected to trail by 2 minutes at 0121.  Twilight 
    was fading on the horizon, we started with a wave cloud a few degrees 
    above the track that did not intrude.  Sky was clear and stars to mag 
    7.5 were clearly visible.
    Just as I heard the time signal for 0122 UT from WWV, I saw an 8th 
    magnitude object on the appropriate track and rate northbound.  No more 
    objects appeared in the field for +5 minutes.   So it appears FASTSAT 
    is the best fit, it's worth keeping in mind to validate observations.  
    I'm looking forward to phase info on NanoSail D.  The track was 18 deg 
    high in the W to NW at dusk, unfavorable phase probably.
       Happy hunting!  Dan Laszlo, Fort Collins CO USA   40d30m N; 105d 05 m 
    W 4900 ft elev
    -----Original Message-----
    From: Ted Molczan <>
    Sent: Fri, Jan 21, 2011 5:15 pm
    Subject: NanoSail-D not seen
    I attempted to observe NanoSail-D on 2011 Jan 21 at 23:45 UTC, but did 
    not see it.My primary purpose was to confirm that the object is 
    visible, and observe its opticalcharacteristics: visual magnitude, 
    period of variation (if any).My secondary purpose was to obtain 
    positional measurements, to verify the accuracy of the elementsthat 
    have been provided, and provide the basis for orbit determination, if 
    necessary.Sky conditions were poor. Using 25 X 100 binoculars, I could 
    see the fainter of my two referencestars (mag 8.0), but not 
    comfortably. However, had the satellite reached mag 6 or 7, I should 
    haveseen it.I generated my ephemeris using the latest available 
    elements:1 90027U          11021.03111096 +.00000496 +00000-0 +78023-4 
    0 000332 90027 071.9761 003.6513 0021431 200.5132 159.5103 
    14.77037263000254 The pass was far from ideal, in that I had to 
    compromise between elevation and phase angle. I choseAZ 315, EL 21 deg, 
    with phase angle 114 deg.The object did not appear within +/-2 minutes 
    of the predicted time.I will try again at my next opportunity.Site 
    2701: 43.68764 N, 79.39243 W, 230 mTed 
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