Yuri 3A observed!

Matson, Robert (ROBERT.D.MATSON@cpmx.saic.com)
Mon, 14 Dec 1998 12:48:50 -0800

Hi All,

Brian Hunter wrote:

> Talk about ironic!
> I observed 1990 77A on Saturday night but was not sure of its identity.
> I observed both objects ( 1990 77A  and 1992 21C ) last night  and had
> not had time to report.  ;-(

This is getting creepy.  I was out Sunday night getting ready to observe a
pass of Cosmos 2335, when I spotted a single bright flash (mag 1) near
theta-Ceti, on the Saturn-side of the star.  Certain I'd seen a satellite
glint, I waited for another 60 seconds (counting in my head) for a repeat,
but didn't see one.  If only I'd been patient enough to wait 90 seconds!

I though IDing the satellite wouldn't be too difficult because I had kept
track of the time to the nearest minute (1:41 UTC on 12/14), and had a
pretty good fix on the location.  But when I ran SkyMap Monday morning,
I found to my dismay that the flash had occurred smack in the middle of
the geosynch band, and that at leat three satellites could have been
responsible:  Telstar 402R (#23670, 95049A), Molniya 1-78 (#20742,
90071A) and ... whatdayaknow, Yuri 3A (#20771, 90077A)!

So thank you Brian and Mike for posting your observations!  I couldn't
have ID'd the sat without you.  You can be certain I'll be looking for
it again tonite!

> Is it time for Rob Matson to predict a rotation axis?

Give me your dates/times, folks, and I'll give it a hack!  --Rob

P.S.  Nice Geminid show!  Saw 88 meteors in a 1-hour period Sunday night.