Satellite preceding Mir

Eric Vondra (evondra@usaor.net)
Sun, 12 Apr 1998 12:16:32 -0400

I observed a Mir pass low in the north to northwest tonight
from 0100 to 0105 UT, 12 April. Magnitude
was 1.5 at first, then a quick fade to about 3.0 with a
gradual recovery to about 1.5
again. Another satellite was tracking in front of Mir by
about 2-3 degrees for the entire
pass. It was varying between 5.5 mag and invisibility with a
period between about 15 and 30
seconds, with a smooth light curve.

I found two possible matches, but both would have to have
been late to fit:

Mir Debris MP (86 017MP) 3 minutes late to fit
Globalstar 1 Delta r (98 008E) 1 minute late to fit

If anyone has or will observe either of these objects, I
think the variability and magnitude would reveal
the true identity of the interloper. I'm just curious which
it is.

Eric Vondra
Wampum, PA
40.8538 N / 80.3292 W (200 m, EDT: UT -4)