Fast Mover and NOSS

From: Jeff Umbarger (
Date: Sun Aug 21 2005 - 19:15:53 EDT

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    Hey All,
         Saw a very interesting object last night at
    -2:01:15 UT moving parallel to the outer two "handle"
    stars of the Teapot (Sigma and Tau Sagittarius), about
    3 degrees away, towards my SSE horizon. It was moving
    at what looked to be twice as fast as a satellite, but
    it did not have any appearance of a slow moving
    meteor. It moved fast with steady magnitude of ~3.5
    and then disappeared (eclipsed?) just as it got beyond
    Tau Sagittarius. My location information is below. If
    this thing was a satellite, it must be ready to
    re-enter soon based on the fact that is was moving so
    fast and eclipsed *before* nautical twilight my time.
    Can anyone tell me what this was?
         Also, I have spent this northern summer trying to
    catch ever single NOSS 2-* triplet pass there is for
    me above 40 degrees culmination. These have all
    occurred late at night. There is definitely a pattern
    to how bright these sets of 3 objects get depending on
    their direction across the sky and where the sun is
    below the horizon. I've determined that if they fly
    out on a line that would eventually intersect the sun
    below the night horizon (think of this as a ray
    sunlight after sunset) then they are bright naked eye
    objects that match the brightness of most
    constellations in the nothern hemisphere. If, however,
    they *cross* a line coming from the sun then they are
    nearly invisible to the naked eye. From this
    observation, I have guessed them to be cylindrical
    objects with maybe a booster in the aft and an
    omni-directional antenna in the front. They are
    probably facet around their cylindrical bodies which
    might explain their varying brightness w.r.t. each
    other. Any thoughts? I highly encourage others to look
    ahead to nighttime passes that intersect the sun - you
    won't be disappointed! (The three USSATCOM numbers I
    have set up H-A Pass reports on are: 20691, 21799, and
    23908 - all of the "C" objects).
              Jeff Umbarger
              Plano, TX USA
              Lat: +33.06946 (N)
              Lon: -96.76807 (W)
              GMT-6 (CST)
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