Two Decayers at Once! (#04583 & #25065)

JRBURCA@aol.com
Wed, 30 Dec 1998 21:41:50 EST

I saw two decayers near 01:46:30 UTC 31 Dec. 1998 (30 Dec. local time).
Both were seen at the same time passing within about 30 degrees of each
other high in the eastern sky.  Meteor 1-6 going S-N and ETS-7 H2 r going
W-E being closest when ETS-7 H2 r was about 30 degrees south of Meteor
1-6.  I was just looking for Meteor 1-6 using Alan Pickup's dklist.txt.  I had
been rushing and just didn't realize ETS-7 H2 r would be passing at the same
time.  So, I was surprised to see another fast moving satellite in a generally
perpendicular trajectory to Meteor 1-6.  Subsequent investigation revealed it
to have been ETS-7 H2 r.  Wow, two decayers at the same time!   Both
satellites seemed to be at max. (Meteor 1-6 was tumbling) about as bright
as Saturn.  TLEs from dklist.txt:
   
Meteor 1-6       5.0  1.5  0.0  5.8 v            232 x 227 km
1 04583U 70085A   98364.51107231  .00876095  49805-3  61420-3 0  5187
2 04583  81.1253   3.8297 0004164 133.7077 226.4768 16.16401611549486
ETS-7 H2 r      13.5  2.5  0.0  3.0 v            340 x 290 km
1 25065U 97074C   98364.11660346  .00348690  42160-4  13182-2 0  3495
2 25065  34.5367 302.7351 0037636  33.2430 327.0642 15.85428987 61726

--  Jake Rees
    Burbank, California, USA
    (34.173 N, 118.358 W) 190 meters