Chang’e 5 Moon probe

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    Nick James
    Participant

    For anyone who wants to have a go at visually observing the Chinese probe a day or two before it lands on the Moon I’ve just been doing some astrometry and it is surprisingly bright for something 380,000km away. It is currently (Nov 27.8) stable at mag 10.9 unlike yesterday when, for a brief period, it was flaring to mag 8. It is moving quite slowly. Attached is an ephemeris for Chelmsford for tonight. It is close to the Moon though (not surprising) so that will make the observation more difficult than the magnitude would suggest. Note the magnitude in the ephemeris is too faint. It is around mag 11.

    #Chelmsford
    Date (UTC).dd RA Dec delta r elong mag ” sig PA
    —- — —– ————- ———– —— —— —– — —- —
    2020 11 27.85 02 58 19.196 +13 56 58.97 381752 .98899 160.2 14.9 .343 178
    2020 11 27.90 02 57 55.177 +13 58 57.13 382570 .98899 160.1 14.9 .367 45
    2020 11 27.95 02 57 27.129 +13 59 58.10 383715 .98899 160.0 14.9 .559 70
    2020 11 28.00 02 56 59.517 +14 00 00.16 385197 .98899 159.8 14.9 .739 80
    2020 11 28.05 02 56 36.579 +13 59 06.69 386989 .98899 159.7 15.0 .808 85
    2020 11 28.10 02 56 21.853 +13 57 25.52 389029 .98898 159.5 15.0 .696 90
    2020 11 28.15 02 56 17.779 +13 55 07.53 391228 .98898 159.5 15.0 .362 109
    2020 11 28.20 02 56 25.428 +13 52 24.89 393479 .98898 159.4 15.0 .455 45
    2020 11 28.25 02 56 44.363 +13 49 28.97 395672 .98898 159.4 15.0 1.53 64
    2020 11 28.30 02 57 12.608 +13 46 27.89 397702 .98897 159.5 15.0 3.21 67
    2020 11 28.35 02 57 46.655 +13 43 23.40 399486 .98897 159.5 15.0 5.79 67
    2020 11 28.40 02 58 21.383 +13 40 05.39 400979 .98897 159.6 15.0 10.0 65
    2020 11 28.45 02 58 49.489 +13 35 57.85 402204 .98896 159.6 15.0 18.0 62
    2020 11 28.50 02 58 59.060 +13 28 58.22 403371 .98896 159.5 15.1 39.6 56
    2020 11 28.55 02 58 54.359 +13 05 28.23 406428 .98897 159.3 15.1 163 173
    2020 11 28.60 03 02 55.553 +12 43 33.97 411092 .98900 159.9 15.1 367 112
    2020 11 28.65 03 07 04.500 +12 36 10.80 413850 .98903 160.7 15.1 478 107
    2020 11 28.70 03 10 52.828 +12 32 11.25 416063 .98905 161.4 15.1 574 105
    2020 11 28.75 03 14 22.184 +12 29 33.94 418091 .98908 162.1 15.1 664 104
    2020 11 28.80 03 17 34.741 +12 27 29.28 420132 .98910 162.7 15.0 750 103

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