Scout X-2M R/B

Mir16609@aol.com
Tue, 16 Feb 1999 12:44:41 EST

Last evening (15 February) at 23:59:00 UTC I spotted a relatively fast moving
UNID above alpha-Gemini.  I followed it until 00:00 UTC (16 February) when it
was about 5 degrees below and to the right of Rigel.   What was surprising (to
me, anyway) was the age of the object.   I identified it as a Scout X-2M R/B,
launched 23 August 1962.

SCOUT X-2M R/B                                   384 x 362
1 00388U 62039D   99047.54978387  .00114161  00000-0  11489-2 0  5343
2 00388  98.5538 244.7140 0016364 293.6219  66.3341 15.64887799962546

Most of the early '60s objects that I tend to be slow movers in the sky and
(for the most part) very difficult to resolve.  This object was about a mag
6.0.   On a clear evening it should not be too difficult to observe.  

SL-16 R/B (25407) is making a series of passes this week.   I observed it's
quick minimal as it ascended below Orion at 00:17 UTC but failed to get a good
time on its period.  As it passed beta-Canus Minor the brightness fluctuated
between +1.5 and +2.5 without a clear minima.

Cheers
Don Gardner
Homepage: http://hometown.aol.com/mir16609/
39.1796 N, 76.8419 W, 34m ASL