Re:Unknown flasher

Bjoern Gimle (
Fri, 11 Jul 1997 00:26:43 +0200

Clement Drolet asked:
>> On sunday morning Jul 6th 04h10UT a friend of mine observed a flashing
>> satellite in a west-east motion. According to him and he's a reliable
>> observer, the satellite passed through the Big Bear's tail in it's way to
>> Cassiopea. I've checked with the cs970703 Molczan elements and SatSpy 2.0
>> and I couldn't find anything. The location of the observation is 70d42,2mW
>> and 46d43,8mN.

Bruno Tlgner answered:
>If it weren't for Cassiopeia I would have said it was NOSS 2-3 R which fits
>the time of passage through the Big Bear's tail, is presumably a flasher
>and has the right size and distance to be seen naked eye. - But it did not
>go through Cassiopeia.
It went right over Perseus. I checked el970706 down to mag.+8 according to
SkyMap ( range <4444 km and perigee <2222 km ) and found nothing better.

As I often do, I'd like to stress that it would help identification to
have an estimate of apparent speed, and direction relative to vertical
(or to a line between stars), at a point on the track, as a complement
or even instead of general large-scale motion. This would make sure that
the risk of ignoring distant objects, or incorrectly picking a low one,
is reduced. Magnitude estimate, and flash period, can of course also help
experienced observers, or when comparing to magnitude/PPAS data.

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