Re: Satellite preceding Mir

Alan Pickup (alan@wingar.demon.co.uk)
Sun, 12 Apr 1998 19:44:25 +0100

In message <3530E8E0.B99BAB98@usaor.net>, Eric Vondra
<evondra@usaor.net> writes
>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.

I calculate that MP should have been 3 minutes *ahead* of Mir.

An even better candidate is the newly catalogued Mir debris MQ which
should have been less than 7 seconds ahead of Mir on that pass:

Mir deb MQ                                       380 x 373 km
1 25294U 86017MQ  98102.40781513  .00124028  00000-0  12813-2 0    66
2 25294  51.6587  19.4407 0004983 229.9593 130.0965 15.63848513   136

Alan
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