ISS "close encounter."

From: Robert Holdsworth (
Date: Sat Apr 24 2004 - 00:09:46 EDT

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    On Tuesday 20 April at 06:41 UTC I was observing the ISS on an almost
    overhead pass from NNW to ESE..
    After transit and as it passed close to Centaurus a further moderately
    bright object was seen which appeared to "overtake" the ISS.  It was
    initially travelling in approximately the same direction, but much faster.
    I estimate that its magnitude was in the region of zero.  This object
    appeared to travel initially slightly to the North of the ISS, then closely
    "in front" of it, and finally a little to the southeast of it.  I doubt if
    it was rapid enough for a meteor.  The ISS entered shadow, and I think the
    unknown did too.  Although Soyuz was on its way to ISS the object does not
    appear to "fit."
    Apologies for the delay in reporting this, but I had some uncertainties
    about it- I have now had the sighting verified by another observer whose
    location is in the vicinity of 174.894 E, 41.218S. (Useful to have a boss
    who also watches the sky!)  Both of us saw it unassisted, though I also
    observed it in binoculars.
    I believe the position of this event to be in the vicinity of R.A 13h
    dec -43 degrees but am open to correction.
    Can anyone identify the second object please?
    Obviously I do not know its altitude but it was in such close proximity that
    it is possible it would have been visible from the ISS.
    Robert Holdsworth
    New Zealand
    147.947E 41..261S.
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