HJ 1A LM rocket observed- on its way to decay

From: Robert Holdsworth (robbonz1@xtra.co.nz)
Date: Sun Jan 17 2010 - 16:34:22 UTC

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    Observed 33322 HJ 1A LM rocket this morning on its 1603 UTC pass in a patchy 
    sky.   Was supposed to pass Mars which would have been useful to check 
    timings but by then it was obscured.  This is a very bright object and is 
    due to decay towards the end of the week.   Predicted mag at culmination was 
    1.7 but I consider it was brighter than that at least mag -1 and could be 
    seen through cloud for a time after culmination.  It could easily be 
    mistaken for the ISS apart from the fact that moves in a different direction 
    and was not due to pass at the time!!
    Judging by this the decay could be spectacular.  We have some further 
    similar passes  but cloud could be a problem unless the object manages to 
    shine through them again.  As it is in a 98 degree orbit there may be 
    opportunities for others to observe this object and possibly decay.
    Robert Holdsworth
    New Zealand
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