Observations Fri Eve. July 17

Robert Sheaffer (sheaffer@netcom.com)
Sat, 18 Jul 1998 13:44:39 -0700

Observations Friday Evening, July 17 (UT 18 July, 1998)

  05:27 UT  Looked for, but did not see naked eye, USA 129 (24680). 
            Expected mag 3.5, elevation 62 deg.

  05:32:01  Unexpected satellite, Mag 2, moving W to E crossing the line
            from Gamma to Beta Ursa Majoris, closer to the latter. Faded
            or went into shadow soon afterward. Unlikely to be USA 129
            unless current elset is off by several degrees.

  05:36:25  Appulse of LACE (20496) with Polaris. Mag 5, seen in binocs.
            Only 5-10 sec slow on the following elset: 
1 20496U 90015A   98191.17625798 +.00006730 +00000-0 +17097-3 0 09521
2 20496 043.0990 214.9020 0009519 296.2887 063.6966 15.40191172469716

             There is an interesting page on this this object at 
             http://ncst-www.nrl.navy.mil/LACE/LACE.html. It's (among
             other things) a laser reflector for ground-based 
             experiments, with numerous solar panels, with 252
             retroreflectors on a 150-foot boom! It's often quite bright.
  
  05:44:30   Saw flare approx mag -1/-2 looked exactly like Iridium
             flare, only no prediction for that place/time. Path and
             time exactly matches Cosmos 2354 (25365), predicted mag 7.7,
             which was just about to enter the shadow. Is this a
possibility?    
  
  05:54      Unexpected Mag 4 eastbound satellite in lower Ophiuchus,
             tumbling or flickering approx 1/second. Believed to be
             OAO 1 rocket (02144). Moved into shadow.

                   my GPS tells me I'm at 37 deg 17.3' N.,
                    121 deg 59.2' west (San Jose, CA)

  

        Robert Sheaffer - robert@debunker.com - Skeptical to the Max!


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