ID for a Club Member

From: Brad Young (brad.young@domain-engineering.com)
Date: Wed Feb 07 2007 - 12:52:16 EST

  • Next message: Kevin Fetter: "Re: ID for a Club Member"

    Dan sent this me and others to ID...assuming same geo location as me, I'd
    like some help with ID.
    
    
    I was out observing last night and was looking at M42 at about 6:45 and
    noticed a flashing strobe light just above it.  My first reaction was it was
    an airplane, however it was moving extremely slowly from South to North.  By
    my estimate it was moving at about 1 arc second per second.  It was
    definitely a strobe light as its rise and fall were extremely sharp pulsing
    at 7 second intervals.  My best guess as to its magnitude was about a 5 or 6
    as it was very bright in my 8", but could not see it naked eye.  The skies
    in town last night were about a mag. 4. This object was moving far too
    slowly to be a fixed wing aircraft.  My next thought was it was a satellite
    in high earth orbit which would fit its apparent velocity.  I cannot however
    think of any good reason a satellite in HEO would want to waste power
    running a strobe light.  It's not as if there is a lot of piloted traffic in
    that airspace that it would be trying to warn not to run into it.  It most
    likely was some sort of weather balloon.  I am not sure as to whether they
    run strobes to warn off aircraft or not.  It would make sense, but would
    also use up power as well.  Does anyone know if that is the case?  If not a
    balloon, then I am open to speculation as to what it might have been.
    
    DanL
    
    Brad Young
    TULSA 1
    COSPAR 8336
    36.1397N, 95.9838W, 205m ASL
    
    
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