Re: Unidentified Satellite - Who Wants/Can Identify?

From: Rainer Kracht (
Date: Sat Aug 04 2001 - 15:50:11 PDT

  • Next message: Matson, Robert: "RE: Unidentified Satellite - Who Wants/Can Identify?"

    On 5 Aug 2001, at 0:10, Ulrich Beinert wrote:
    > A few days ago, I was out observing, waiting for the ISS to come, and made a
    > *very* unusual observation. It must have been a satellite, presumably
    > tumbling, as it did some very irregular stuff. I noted as much as I could
    > about it, so if any of the experts on the list who know how to do it could
    > try to figure out what it was, I'd be really thankful.
    > So, it was the morning of July 25th, 2001, 04:00 LT (02:00 UT) plus/minus a
    > few minutes. I was near 8.66E, 50.50N. The satellite rose in the Northeast,
    > underneath Perseus, flashing irregularly to -2 or -3m with a period between
    > 10 and 20 seconds between flashes. It passed above the three brightest stars
    > in Aries (the little triangle which is all you can see of the constellation
    > from lightpolluted sites), then went towards the south, where I lost track
    > of it. I'd say it set in the south or south-southeast. Between the bright
    > flashes, the satellite varied between invisible (less than 5m) and +2m in
    > brightness.
    > I assume not many satellites with this behavior followed this path at this
    > time and location, so it shouldn't be hard to figure out which one it is,
    > but I don't know how, and with what data. If someone could tell me what it
    > was, I'd be very grateful! Thanks in advance...
    > Ulrich    >><<
    Looks like
    IRS-1A           3.0  2.0  2.0  6.3 d   10
    1 18960U 88021A   01207.27198812 -.00000077  00000-0 -24694-4 0  2067
    2 18960  98.9079 161.8819 0014341 210.4407 149.5924 13.96063141584367
    Rainer Kracht
    Elmshorn, Germany
    Station 5005, 53.7695N 9.6626E 9m
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    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sat Aug 04 2001 - 15:49:37 PDT