Unknown satellite

Willie Koorts (wpk@saao.ac.za)
Tue, 16 Jan 1996 09:29:39 +0200 (GMT+0200)

The following mails refer:

>From light@argoscomp.comMon Jan 15 14:52:47 1996
>Date: Sat, 13 Jan 1996 22:36:47 -0500
>From: Edward S Light <light@argoscomp.com>
>To: seesat-l@iris01.plasma.mpe-garching.mpg.de
>Cc: light@news2.panix.com
>Subject: Unknown satellite
>Resent-Date: Sat, 13 Jan 1996 22:36:47 -0500
>Resent-From: seesat-l@iris01.plasma.mpe-garching.mpg.de
>
>In response to the recent message from Joe Dellinger:
>
>>Date: Sat, 13 Jan 96 19:50:26 CST
>>From: jdellinger@amoco.com (Joe A. Dellinger)
>>To: seesat-l@iris01.plasma.mpe-garching.mpg.de
>>Subject: what was that amazing flasher I just saw?
>>
>>	Just a few minutes ago (center of pass at 7:41PM CST) I saw an
>>amazing flasher satellite go dead overhead, very slowly from North to South.
>>My location is Tulsa, Oklahoma (about 36.1983 North, 95.8880 West).
>>
>>	It had a period of about 2 flashes per second, with peak magnitude
>>about magnitude 1. It alternated two kinds of minimum, with one about
>>magnitude 3-4 or so, and the other so deep it disappeared from view entirely
>>to my naked eyes. One of the most impressive flasher satellites I've ever
>>seen! Could anyone identify it for me so I could try to see it again? This
>>would be an excellent one to show kids to get them interested, if it could
>>be predicted to put on this good a show again!
>>
>>	Thanks!
>
>a quicksat run strongly implies that the object seen was 23705 = 95-058B =
>Cosmos 2322 Rocket. This evening, at the given coordinates, it made a near-
>zenith pass at 7:41 PM CST moving from NNW to SSE. If my identification is
>correct, it will be visible the next few evenings as follows (times are
>for maximum elevation, and in all cases, the motion is from NNW to SSE):
>  Sun 96 Jan 14  7:27 PM CST
>  Mon 96 Jan 15  7:13 PM CST
>  Tue 96 Jan 16  6:59 PM CST, and
>  Wed 96 Jan 17  6:45 PM CST.
>
>Clear skies!
>Ed Light
>
>
>From jhunt@eagle1.eaglenet.comMon Jan 15 14:58:35 1996
>Date: Sun, 14 Jan 1996 09:38:55 -0500 (EST)
>From: "Jeffrey C. Hunt" <jhunt@eagle1.eaglenet.com>
>To: SeeSat <seesat-l@iris01.plasma.mpe-garching.mpg.de>
>Subject: Tulsa, Ok. unknown
>Resent-Date: Sun, 14 Jan 1996 09:38:55 -0500 (EST)
>Resent-From: seesat-l@iris01.plasma.mpe-garching.mpg.de
>
>Joe Dellinger,
>Here are some possibilities for your posted sighting on Jan 13 at 19:41 CST
>(Jan 14 at 01:41 UTC) from Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Let me know what you think.
>Jeff Hunt <jhunt@eagle1.eaglenet.com>
>
>04555/ Atlas Centaur r/b
>10925/ Molniya 1-40
>20736/ Cosmos 2091
>22188/ Cosmos 2211 r/b
>23705/ Cosmos 2322 r/b
>
>66041  F
>1 04555U 66041  F 96005.07732025  .00000304  00000-0  14171-3 0  3608
>2 04555  90.0983 219.4527 0066535 303.9816  55.5061 14.17536233832241
>78055  A
>1 10925U 78055  A 96004.65905082 -.00000468  00000-0 -15835-2 0  7864
>2 10925  62.0052 239.3801 7339805 271.1498  13.9794  2.00543806128919
>90070  B
>1 20736U 90070  B 96005.08241640  .00000028  00000-0  10000-3 0  8633
>2 20736  82.5773 226.3163 0002339 108.6175 251.5169 12.62292528249294
>92068  G
>1 22188U 92068  G 95362.69335791  .00000008  00000-0  47256-4 0  4434
>2 22188  82.5967 240.0991 0045053 159.8794 200.4083 12.54823623146010
>95058  B
>1 23705U 95058  B 96005.12978912  .00000151  00000-0  79221-4 0   378
>2 23705  71.0280 254.3087 0010719 342.5997  17.4786 14.14150847  9235
>
End of mail references:


Hi all

Using the above elements,  I had good passes of 22188 (92-068G) and
23705 (95-058B) from my site last night and observed both through a
35mm homemade refractor fitted with setting circles.

22188 was rock steady as far as I could tell,  but 23705 behaved exactly
the way Joe Dellinger described allthough not as bright for me.  It also
dissapeared between flashes,  even through this little telescope.
This agrees with Ed Light's findings as well.

I tried timing it but because of the rapid flashing it is quite difficult
to keep up with the count.  The data is roughly as follows:

Site:  Wellington,  South Africa
       Long: 19.015 E  Lat: 33.649 S

Three timings were made as follows:

@ 20H29 UT - 50 flashes in 21.25 sec = 0.425s
@ 20H30 UT - 50 flashes in 20.13 sec = 0.403s
@ 20H31 UT - 50 flashes in 22.34 sec = 0.447s

I am not very experienced in the satellite observing game yet (still learning
from the master - Greg Roberts - who some of you folks might know) but the
best flasher I saw so far was 22639 (93-026B) - Alexis R/B.  This was not as
fast a flasher as this one (I measured it having a periode of 10.1 sec),  but
what impressed me was how sharply defined the flashes were with complete
darkness between them.   This was observed from a truly dark site (the
Sutherland observing station of the South African Astronomical Observatory)
which made it even better.  To me,  this one truly deserves the name FLASHER!!

Hope this helped,  Joe.  I will keep an eye on Jeff Hunt's other candidates
too,  as they become visible for me and let you know if I spot anything else.

Cheers
Willie Koorts
         
         
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