new subscriber, and help with satellite ID requested

From: Michael & Caroline Rice (mcrice@bigpond.com)
Date: Thu Jan 31 2008 - 13:02:38 UTC

  • Next message: Peter Wakelin: "SATOBS 2008 January 30"

    Hi all, I've newly subscribed from Cedar Vale, south of Brisbane in Qld,
    Australia
    
    27.8997S, 153.0213E, darkish skies above with a city of a million or more
    about 50km away giving a fair bit of light pollution in the northern sky.
    
    Interest in astronomy since 1970's with fond memories of watching first
    Shuttle pass over (I think Brisbane may have been one of the first locations
    it was visible from) and staying up all night watching & waiting for Skylab
    to fall to earth (saw a few nice fireballs, but re-entry was elsewhere).
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    Reason for joining and posting is this unusual observation I couldn't sort
    out with Heavens-Above:
    
    Last evening approx 20:50 local time (10:50 UTC Wed 30 Jan 08), I spotted an
    object which flared brightly (mag 1 or brighter?) twice in a minute or two,
    while heading north to south through ?Eridanus (sorry, not a constellation
    expert) as it approached the zenith. Flares were ?reddish in colour and the
    object remained faintly visible between, and after the second flare (?mag
    4-5), until lost in light cloud cover probably just past zenith.
     
    This was an incidental observation while having a swim in a pool with lights
    on so a bit of background glare; estimated magnitudes might be a bit low.
    
    I've tried to identify this with Heavens-Above, also J-track 3d (can't
    figure out how to wind it back >24hr) and J-pass (not convinced I've set the
    location correctly as Mars isn't shown, or shows in west not east, perhaps
    not suited to southern hemisphere?)
    
    Any help much appreciated including directions to sites where I might figure
    it out for myself)
    
    Cheers,
    Michael
    
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