Re: Oldest naked-eye visible

Robert Sheaffer (sheaffer@netcom.com)
Fri, 29 Aug 1997 23:03:22 -0700 (PDT)

Ruben Velasco
> 
> At 11:26 29/08/97 -0500, jdellinger@amoco.com (Joe Dellinger) wrote:
> >
> >	What is the oldest satellite currently in orbit that can reach
> >NAKED EYE visibility? How about the oldest that can become bright enough
> >to show people naked-eye from a suburban location, say 3rd magnitude?
> 
> A couple of weeks ago I saw a great pre-dawn pass of Cosmos 100 (the
> rocket booster, #01844). I had my 12x50 binoculars, but it was quite
> brilliant (I think mag ~2).  It was launched on Dec. 17, 1965.

The Atlas-Centaur 2 (NORAD #694) can get at least as bright as magnitude
2.5. I have seen it many times. It was launched, I believe, in
December of 1963.

-- 

        Robert Sheaffer - robert@debunker.com - Skeptical to the Max!
             my new GPS tells me I'm at 37 deg 17.3' N., 
                 121 deg 59.2' west (San Jose, CA) 

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