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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:31 pm 
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Location: London, UK.
I saw this on the beeb:

Quote:
A group of scientists and engineers is working on an ambitious project to revive a unique UK satellite - still in orbit after almost 40 years.


The satellite is called "Prospero".

Full article on this link:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14783135

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Last edited by Tim Chamberlain on Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:40 pm 
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Heavens Above has visible passes for Prospero from the UK.

Quote:
Prospero Information

Identification USSPACECOM Catalog No.: 5580
International Designation Code: 1971-093-A

Satellite Details

Orbit: 528 x 1,328 km, 82.0°
Country/Org. of Origin: UK
Intrinsic brightness (Mag): 6.7 (at 1000km distance, 50% illuminated)
Maximum brightness (Mag): 3.9 (at perigee, 100% illuminated)

Launch

Date (UTC): October 28, 1971
Launch site: Woomera,
South Australia
Launch vehicle: Black Arrow

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:18 pm 
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Location: 55° 57'N: 03° 08'W
Observed this object this evening (Sept 6) at 21:07:34.98 U.T. in
northern Pegasus - magnitude +8.4


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:47 am 
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Hi Tim/stella,
No luck for me last night (Tues) due yet again to cloud/rain.
Tonights pass looks like it will be at it's best (passing south to north) directly at the zenith at mag +6.2 from 22.12 BST (Real Time Satellite Tracking) but yet again the weather doesn't look too good.
All the best
Dave

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:04 pm 
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Hello stella / Dave,

I was out last night so didn't have a chance to look, although it was pretty cloudy here too - I did get a brief glimpse of Jupiter between the clouds on my way home. Not looking too promising out there at the moment though ...

I hope the BBC or someone else will follow up in due course as to whether or not these Scientists are successful in re-establishiong contact with Prospero.

Tim

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:21 pm 
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Hi Tim,
Been doing a bit of 'digging' and managed to find out a bit of info about it but not much yet, will keep looking but in the meantime have a look here. Might be interesting :wink:
All the best
Dave

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:47 am 
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Hello Dave,

Thanks for that - interesting to see Prospero has popped up here on the Forum once before!

I love the idea of contacting / reactivating a "lost" satellite - it all seems very Arthur C. Clarke! :D

Definitely want to try for a visual pass of Prospero. But seems like we're stuck with permanent cloud here these days. :cry:

Cheers, Tim

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:47 pm 
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Just tried to get a glimpse of Prospero - my first clear night for ages - but highly awkward hanging backwards out of a window, craning my neck to get a view of Deneb at the appropriate time Prospero was meant to pass right over it ... then, bang on cue, blooming fluffy white clouds roll in (with the full Moon not helping either) - just my luck!

D'oh! :roll:

Tim

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:16 pm 
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Tim,
I hope you are not higher than the first floor. It is not worth it.
I did look at the Full Moon with 6x30s.
But cloud when I tried to view Ursa Major to take measurements.
Regards, David


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:57 am 
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Hello David,

My description probably sounded more acrobatic than it actually was - I meant I was craning out of the window to look directly upwards. Not really hanging out of it being "unsafe", more like plain uncomfortable!

Got a lovely view of Jupiter later on with Ganymede, Europa and Callisto looking very clear. Discovered my monocular is excellent for observing the Moon too. Not giving up on Prospero though, fingers crossed for better positioned passes and clear skies.

All the best,

Tim

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:30 pm 
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Tim,
I also saw Jupiter with ancient 6x30s uncoated. I could easily see Ganymede with this, but Jupiter was just disappearing behind the oak tree.
With modern 10x25s I could see the three moons.

Regards, David


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