RE: Slow Iridium

jeff@satellite.eu.org
Sat, 31 Jan 98 09:39:58

--- On Sat, 31 Jan 1998 12:37:50 +2000  cosmos33@ilink.nis.za wrote:

>Hi.
>
>Yesterday evening I tried to spot the following iridium:
>30 Jan  21:54:33   -0    el. 35   az. 101   m.a.  2.4     Iridium 17
>I saw it, but it was moving extremely slow, the slowest satelite I've 
>ever seen. Is this iridium in a higher orbit? Are there any other 
>iridiums up there like this one? Also, it didn't really flare and was 
>approx. mag. 3.8. and moved from S to N. I just found it strange.

>Bellville, Cape Town, SA. 18.38E, 33.54S, GMT +2h

I don't believe you were observing Iridium 17. Did it go into shadow at 
around 21:54:15 local? That's what my prediction shows. Iridium 17 is 
suppose to be in a nominal orbit of 778 x 778 km. If the movement was 
very slow and it didn't go into shadow until much later it surely was a 
different sat. Also, Iridiums are normally much dimmer in the 5 or 6 
magnitude value of brightness. 

Several sats followed a similiar path during the time period referenced, 
but unfortunately a specific location in the sky with a given time were 
not provided to eliminate all the possibilities.

Jeff Hunt <jeff@satellite.eu.org>