Re: did I observe Cosmos 158?

From: Ralf Vandebergh (
Date: Thu Apr 21 2011 - 17:31:12 UTC

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    Thanks, I understand what happened. I accidentally pressed the –now- button in Calsky which provided the pass of the next day (today). So Cosmos 158 passes today approximately along
    the path I saw the object. Here is the map provided by Calsky with the objects path throught the stars:
    The path of the object I saw is almost exactly like in the map, passing close to @ Dubhe. Direction of the object was south to North while Aureole 2 was NNW-NE (egress Earth shade).
    I have on record 20 observations of Cosmos 158 (67045A / 2801) by Russell Eberst between Apr 1997 and Oct 2010, always steady and usually mag 6 or 7; brightest: mag 5.5. It is in a 74 deg orbit, which does not fit well with the observed motion from S to NNW, which seems more like that of a sun-synchronous object.On further checking, I find that your planned target Aureole 2 rocket (73107B / 7004) passed near 21:19 UTC, but Cosmos 158 passed about 1 h earlier, not several minutes later, and it did not pass through the Big Dipper.If you can provide a more precise description of the object's path through the stars, it might prove identifiable.Ted Molczan
    From: Ralf Vandebergh 
    Sent: Thursday, April 21, 2011 3:26 PM
    Subject: did I observe Cosmos 158?
    Was actually out last night trying to get an additional observation for my Aureole-2 rocket tumbling imaging project, but finally came in with 
    a totally other observation. Few minutes later an object with clear reddish color appeared in the Big Dipper and was tumbling very strange and 
    irrigular, one of the nicest and strangest objects I’ve ever seen. The object moved from South to NNW and searched in Calsky until mag 8 but
    only one object matched with the orbit and direction: Cosmos 158, the first prototype soviet navigation satellite launched in 1967.
    Is there any comparing data available of this satellite matching my sighting? It was listed in Calsky as mag 6.4 but was much brigher and 
    visible with the naked eye, maybe due to the tumbling. Unfortunately I was not at the telescope, but if this is really Cosmos 158 I will have
    some new oppertunities this week for a telescopic capture.
    Best wishes,
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