ATS 5 Centaur R/B flasher

Matson, Robert (
Tue, 13 Apr 1999 16:56:31 -0700

Hi All,

Spotted an unexpected, slow-moving flasher Monday night (12 April)
from 20:32 - 20:35 PDT (3:32 - 3:35 UT, 13 April).  Flashes were
bright (~mag 3) for such a high-altitude satellite.  A SkyMap search
today reveals that it was ATS 5 R/B (#4069, 69069B), which I
believe is a Centaur (Centaur 18?).  (The range was over 5600 km!)
Not wishing to lose sight of it (it was invisible between flashes --
dimmer than magnitude +8), I fumbled blindly with my stopwatch
and managed to time 7 consecutive flashes in 62.17 seconds for
a flash period of 8.88 +/- .03 seconds.  Separate report will be
sent to PPAS.

Has anyone else seen this rocket?