Re: unidentified bright satellite

Leo Barhorst (leobarhorst@pi.net)
Sun, 09 Feb 1997 15:26:28 +0100

hahn@geographie.uni-kiel.de wrote:
> 
> This evening I saw a satellite that wasn't predicted by Quicksat using the
> TLE.936 file from AFIT. Unfortunately, I don't have the exact time and
> position when I saw it first (roughly 18:42-18:43 CET, azimuth 45 degrees,
> altitude 45 degrees, maybe 5 degrees positional error), but it went into
> Earth's shadow at azimuth 123 (+/- 0.5) and altitude 39.5 (+/- 1.0) at
> 18:43:40 (+/- 2 secs).
> 
> Initial brightness was at least 3m, maybe even close to 2m; no flashes,
> only steady darkening.
> 
> My position was 54.456 N, 9.622 E.
> 
> Any ideas what this might have been? Weather forecast is very good for
> tomorrow evening and I'd like to see it again.
> 
> Marco Hahn

Hello Marco,

Just returning from my winterholiday in Austria I saw your message on SeeSat-L and there 
has been no answer to it on SeeSat-L, or did you recieve it in private mail?

I ran Skymap with my TLE-file of almost 5000 sats and the only candidate that came up is 
#12176 78- 26 R, a piece of debris from the Landsat 3 2nd stage explosion. I doubt that 
this fragment can be so bright.
It predicted trajectory was:
17:42:00 UTC	Az=+65	Elev=+35 (just above 10U Lyn)
17:43:50 UTC	Az=+105	Elev=+39 (just below Epsilon Gem)

The TLE used was:
78026  R
1 12176U 78026  R 97007.03880401 -.00000056  00000-0 -12933-4 0  5448
2 12176  98.7801 205.7257 0065751 318.8215  40.7994 13.86821701806804

Perhaps you'll try to observe it again and see if it indeed was this sat.

-- 
Greetings and clear skies

Leo Barhorst		Alkmaar			The Netherlands
52.65 North		4.767 East		1 m ASL
Member of Seesat-L
------------------------------------------------------------
Every day I wonder about the things I see in the (night)sky