UNID -- bright flashes

Ed Cannon (edcannonutaustin@netscape.net)
8 Aug 99 05:35:22 CDT

Saturday night (early 8 August UTC) at a public star party, we saw an UNID
flash very brightly a few times.  Due to members of the public being around,
the data are not as good as I'd like to send.

The object was going southeast and was first seen southeast of the zenith,
probably lower than 60 degrees.  It passed some degrees east of Sagittarius. 
I saw at least one -2 flash before my first stopwatch click, 
which was probably late.  It was invisible (one-power) between flashes, and
the flashes grew fainter as it progressed.  The flashes resembled those of a
tumbling Iridium.  The first two flash times below are estimates based on the
actual period being about 11.7 (last three times). I rounded them off to
tenths.

       Period    8 Aug 1999
Click  Seconds      UTC
a                2:31:42.7  estimate
b                2:31:54.4  estimate
01               2:31:55.8  true
02      10.29    2:32:06.05  "
03      11.63    2:32:17.7   "
04      11.67    2:32:29.35  "
05      11.74    2:32:41.1   "

The location was 30.188N, 98.088W, 330m -- Dripping Springs, Texas.

The least unlikely seemingly possible candidate that I found using alldat.tle
was 71-120C, 08826, Meteor 1-10 Db, but I did not find it in the PPAS
database, and I tend to think that it's too small to flash to -2.

Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas, USA


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