unknown satellite

Rainer Kracht (R.KRACHT@ABBS.heide.de)
Fri, 24 Feb 95 18:36:01 GMT

  
>The correct positions are : 
>first sighted just above Corvus (RA 12h15m, Decl. -11 degrees) 
>moved in the direction of alpha Umi (*very* approximate direction, since 
>that part of the sky wasn't visible to the observer, obscured as it was 
>by an apartment building) or rather just 'direction north'. 
  
>Reached a height of about 60 degrees. The observer reached for his camera 
>after 15 seconds (trying to fit a fish-eye lens to it), but by the time 
>he had finished doing that, the satellite had disappeared behind the  
>building. That is the reason for the low accuracy in position and time of 
>the pass (and no photo either, unfortunately :-( 
  
>Practically speaking : the first point is very much certain, the direction 
>'going north/Polaris' is not accurate to within 10 degrees, and the total 
>duration of the pass (as he saw it) was probably more around 2 minutes than 
>1 minute. I now think he lost the satellite out of view when it was about 
>due East. I'm sure this lower angular velocity leads to more credible 
>heights. 
  
I have searched the 4000-element-sets for satellites, which were visible 
in the Swiss Alps on 1994 December 29 between 04:30 and 05:00 UTC, 
reached more than 50 deg above the horizon, had a minimum distance of less 
than 1000 km, passed within 5 deg of RA 12h15m/Decl. -11 degrees and moved 
towards alpha Umi. There is only one satellite, that meets this description: 
  
    1 
   45.3000   -6.4000     5250.    Swiss Alps 
Macsat 1/2 Deb? 
1 20610U 90043  D 95004.47440952  .00000769  00000-0  90784-4 0  4694 
2 20610  89.9206 176.9387 0087645  10.7124 349.5845 14.80998513250475 
  1 94 12 29  4 44 47.4  12 15.0 -11.00 1950  first position b 
  1 94 12 29  4 44 51.5  12 20.0 -10.00 1950  first position a 
  1 94 12 29  4 47 53.5   1 48.8 +89.03 1950  Polaris 
  0  0 
  
 1  -2  4 44 47.4    .0 12 24.6-11.40  12 15.0-11.00 -2.37   .40  2.40  38 
 1  -2  4 44 51.5    .0 12 25.1-10.21  12 20.0-10.00 -1.26   .21  1.28  38 
 1  -2  4 47 53.5    .1 19 25.3 82.12   1 48.8 89.03 10.19  6.91 12.31  50 
  
At 04:44:47.4 it passed 2.4 deg east of RA 12h15m/Decl. -11 degrees. 
At 04:44:51.5 it passed 1.3 deg east of RA 12h20m/Decl. -10 degrees. 
At 04:45.9    it reached 60 deg above the horizon 
and entered the shadow of the earth shortly thereafter 
At 04:47:53.5 it passed 12 deg from Polaris 
  
 Rainer