"Pseudo-MPEC" for 1969-046D = NORAD 03954 = Vela 5a = JNS023 = ZTF02BI = A10boIy

Created 2019 Jan 12 20:13:03 UT using Find_Orb

Click here for an explanation of pseudo-MPECs

TLEs are available for this object, and for other satellites on these pages.

Click here for a graph of this object's inclination and perigee vs. time, from launch in 1969 to 2020. The orbital period has been roughly constant over that time, but due to the Kozai mechanism, there are big fluctuations in the inclination and eccentricity. The catalogued inclination at launch on 1969 Jul 22 was 33.13 degrees, with perigee at 110891 km, which is a good match (and was my first clue as to the possible identity of the object.)

The object was observed on two nights. When first found as ZTF02BI, the data were insufficient to say that it was really an artsat. Fortunately, it was found again from Hawaii and Australia five days later, and the orbit linked back nicely to the previous observations.

Space-Track has not produced TLEs for this object since January 2017. However, take a look at their last TLE followed by one computed from the data shown below :

OPS 6909 (VELA 9)     [Space-Track's last TLE]
1 03954U 69046D   17001.67583069  .00000938  00000-0  00000+0 0  9998
2 03954  51.7932 241.7068 5712440  77.6947   0.4420  0.21512163 37394

# MJD 57754.000000 (2017 Jan  1  0:00)   [TLE from orbit shown below]
JNS023 = ZTF02BI = A10boIy
1 89987U 00000AAM 17001.49919926  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0  4589
2 89987 051.8099 241.6829 5704159 077.7688 348.9364 00.21555293    00

After adjusting for the different epochs (Space-Track uses epochs near perigee for high objects such as this), there is a difference of about two degrees in mean anomaly, which is about what I'd expect; the orbit is, after all, computed using minimal data. (That difference will probably drop a lot if more observations come in, which will probably happen eventually.) The other elements match exactly enough that I am very confident this really is 1969-046D = Vela 5a.

 
 Astrometry: 
     ZTF02BI  C2019 01 07.18903903 59 59.98 -23 23 36.9    ~181E 15.80RUNEOCPI41
     ZTF02BI  C2019 01 07.18938704 00 00.92 -23 23 57.6    ~181E 15.80RUNEOCPI41
     ZTF02BI  C2019 01 07.25835704 03 35.31 -24 35 40.2    ~181E 15.54gUNEOCPI41
     ZTF02BI  C2019 01 07.25870404 03 36.38 -24 35 58.4    ~181E 15.54gUNEOCPI41
     A10boIy  C2019 01 12!@cRo7Astrometryl\DTNg(we^p^-EW[hhP[Yi0?Te_q=.cdjasNT08
     A10boIy  C2019 01 12l?/M.wXC0G-OVMhMjwj.ARredacted;'n(dtA+L3J\:23r0Dt=M*T08
     A10boIy  C2019 01 12whTX]4:!/[`[Heqcw+5a)cY0m#%lsclick[j5y#=2xaHGsdWXS?aT08
     JNS023   C2019 01 12iHL$8Bm:Aq1u)06+1%Ot](9yEherekKdF#Sn)X`KKUFvfBZP2e;OQ66
     JNS023   C2019 01 12[ra`\a=j0GJL'YM$FI^P[#ldH6g*/]?\xfor%:BbJCdNJF.wJ.b^Q66
     JNS023   C2019 01 12gq*Kjf#o+=lGAi2p9XXj\fjDJc/QPmZrGGvp,mbSi,?9yQqj3]41Q66
     JNS023   C2019 01 12B6explanation[:]\jTh^puMofF7F4t4y5)N,W.`yyA:\W*6yB-uQ66

Station data:
(I41) Palomar Mountain--ZTF  (N33.357340 W116.859780)  US/California. 1.2-m
   f/2.44 Oschin Schmidt + CCD.
(Q66) Siding Spring-Janess-G, JAXA  (S31.273299 E149.064250)  Australia/NSW.
(T08) ATLAS-MLO, Mauna Loa  (N19.535772 W155.576400)  US/Hawaii.  Observers
   L. Denneau, A. Heinze, H. Weiland, J. Tonry, H. Flewelling, A.
   Fitzsimmons, D. Young, B. Stalder. Measurers L. Denneau, A. Heinze, J.
   Tonry. 0.5-m f/2.0 Schmidt + CCD.

Orbital elements:  1969-046D = NORAD 03954 = Vela 5a = JNS023 = ZTF02BI = A10boIy
   Perigee 2019 Jan 10.629581 +/- 0.000733 TT = 15:06:35 (JD 2458494.129581)
Epoch 2019 Jan 12.0 TT; AMR 0.09572 +/- 0.0223 m2/kg         Gray
M 106.13606582 +/- 0.058            (J2000 equator)
n  77.44787128 +/- 0.0014           Peri.   58.46073 +/- 0.014
a117651.422 +/- 1.42                Node   215.11915 +/- 0.0026
e   0.6666555 +/- 8.44e-5           Incl.   43.57411 +/- 0.0011
P6693.41m/4.648d           H 28.5   G  0.15   U  8.3
q 39218.4436 +/- 9.61    Q 196084.401 +/- 11.7
From 11 observations 2019 Jan. 7-12; mean residual 0".989
Residuals in arcseconds: 
190107 I41 1.31+ 1.82-    190112 T08 .636+ 1.08-    190112 Q66 1.42+ .362-
190107 I41 .605- 1.12+    190112 T08 .437- .494+    190112 Q66 1.29- .279+
190107 I41 .086- .494-    190112 T08 1.43- 1.09+    190112 Q66 .754- .253+
190107 I41 .648- 1.05+    190112 Q66 1.63+ .829-

Ephemerides (geocentric):
Date (UTC) HH   RA              Dec         delta  elong  mag " sig PA
---- -- -- --  -------------   -----------  ------ -----  --- ---- ---
2019 01 12 20  05 28 31.693   -34 49 55.96  195671 116.0 16.3 1.72 136
2019 01 12 21  05 32 17.018   -35 14 10.64  195878 116.1 16.3 1.75 139
2019 01 12 22  05 36 04.207   -35 37 56.51  195995 116.1 16.3 1.79 142
2019 01 12 23  05 39 53.475   -36 01 14.32  196022 116.2 16.3 1.82 145
2019 01 13 00  05 43 45.041   -36 24 04.71  195959 116.2 16.3 1.86 148
2019 01 13 01  05 47 39.129   -36 46 28.24  195807 116.3 16.3 1.90 151
2019 01 13 02  05 51 35.970   -37 08 25.33  195564 116.3 16.3 1.94 154
2019 01 13 03  05 55 35.804   -37 29 56.32  195231 116.3 16.3 1.98 157
2019 01 13 04  05 59 38.878   -37 51 01.42  194807 116.3 16.3 2.03 160
2019 01 13 05  06 03 45.448   -38 11 40.76  194293 116.4 16.3 2.08 162
2019 01 13 06  06 07 55.783   -38 31 54.31  193688 116.4 16.3 2.13 165
2019 01 13 07  06 12 10.163   -38 51 41.96  192992 116.4 16.3 2.18 168
2019 01 13 08  06 16 28.881   -39 11 03.45  192203 116.4 16.3 2.24 171
2019 01 13 09  06 20 52.246   -39 29 58.38  191322 116.4 16.3 2.30 173
2019 01 13 10  06 25 20.581   -39 48 26.23  190348 116.4 16.3 2.37 176
2019 01 13 11  06 29 54.230   -40 06 26.29  189280 116.4 16.3 2.44 178
2019 01 13 12  06 34 33.555   -40 23 57.70  188117 116.3 16.3 2.52   1
2019 01 13 13  06 39 18.938   -40 40 59.40  186859 116.3 16.2 2.61   4
2019 01 13 14  06 44 10.790   -40 57 30.13  185505 116.3 16.2 2.70   6
2019 01 13 15  06 49 09.542   -41 13 28.39  184053 116.2 16.2 2.80   9
2019 01 13 16  06 54 15.657   -41 28 52.41  182503 116.2 16.2 2.91  11
2019 01 13 17  06 59 29.629   -41 43 40.17  180853 116.1 16.2 3.03  13
2019 01 13 18  07 04 51.988   -41 57 49.28  179102 116.1 16.2 3.17  16
2019 01 13 19  07 10 23.297   -42 11 17.00  177248 116.0 16.1 3.31  18
2019 01 13 20  07 16 04.167   -42 24 00.17  175290 115.9 16.1 3.47  20
2019 01 13 21  07 21 55.250   -42 35 55.15  173227 115.8 16.1 3.64  23
2019 01 13 22  07 27 57.249   -42 46 57.75  171057 115.7 16.1 3.83  25
2019 01 13 23  07 34 10.926   -42 57 03.14  168777 115.6 16.0 4.04  27
2019 01 14 00  07 40 37.099   -43 06 05.76  166387 115.5 16.0 4.27  29
2019 01 14 01  07 47 16.657   -43 13 59.21  163882 115.3 16.0 4.53  31
2019 01 14 02  07 54 10.563   -43 20 36.09  161263 115.2 16.0 4.81  32
2019 01 14 03  08 01 19.861   -43 25 47.82  158524 115.0 15.9 5.13  34
2019 01 14 04  08 08 45.687   -43 29 24.50  155665 114.8 15.9 5.48  36
2019 01 14 05  08 16 29.281   -43 31 14.57  152683 114.6 15.9 5.87  37
2019 01 14 06  08 24 31.994   -43 31 04.58  149573 114.3 15.8 6.30  39
2019 01 14 07  08 32 55.303   -43 28 38.77  146334 114.1 15.8 6.79  40
2019 01 14 08  08 41 40.828   -43 23 38.64  142961 113.8 15.7 7.33  41
2019 01 14 09  08 50 50.349   -43 15 42.37  139451 113.5 15.7 7.95  42
2019 01 14 10  09 00 25.826   -43 04 24.10  135800 113.1 15.6 8.64  43
2019 01 14 11  09 10 29.426   -42 49 13.01  132003 112.7 15.6 9.44  44
2019 01 14 12  09 21 03.552   -42 29 32.20  128058 112.2 15.5 10.3  45
2019 01 14 13  09 32 10.885   -42 04 37.17  123958 111.7 15.5 11.4  46
2019 01 14 14  09 43 54.429   -41 33 33.93  119699 111.1 15.4 12.6  46
2019 01 14 15  09 56 17.579   -40 55 16.44  115277 110.5 15.4 14.0  46
2019 01 14 16  10 09 24.204   -40 08 23.30  110687 109.7 15.3 15.6  47
2019 01 14 17  10 23 18.770   -39 11 13.20  105925 108.9 15.2 17.6  47
2019 01 14 18  10 38 06.502   -38 01 38.83  100987 107.9 15.2 19.9  46
2019 01 14 19  10 53 53.629   -36 36 58.45   95872 106.8 15.1 22.7  46
2019 01 14 20  11 10 47.748   -34 53 44.18   90578 105.4 15.0 26.1  46
2019 01 14 21  11 28 58.375   -32 47 25.59   85111 103.8 14.9 30.4  45