Re: Flare ?satellite

From: Russell Eberst (
Date: Tue Jul 16 2002 - 12:34:47 EDT

  • Next message: Matson, Robert: "Flaring sat from late June identified"

    At 11:08 14/07/02 +0100, you wrote:
    >Below is a report of a flare, much too slow to be an Iridium.
    >I first thought it might be a Molniya (one Molniya rocket
    >78095E = catalog 11079 is close),
    >but I do not believe a Molniya could flare this bright.
    >Possibly a secret US satellite?
    >Plymouth is approx 4degW 50.5N.
    >BAA electronic circular No. 00052  
    >The Association has received a report from a Mr C.E.R. Brook of Plymouth
    >of an unusual flare in Cassiopeia.  Mr Brook observed a bright object,
    >several times as bright as the planet Venus, which flared up in the
    >constellation of Cassiopeia in the position of, or near to, the star Alpha
    >Cassiopeiae at 22 hrs 32 mins UT on 26 June 2002.  Mr Brook apparently
    >had the object in view for about a minute, before it faded rapidly from
    >view, and it showed no sign of movement while visible. It was already bright
    >when Mr Brook first spotted the object.
    >The report was initially sent to Variable Star Section Director, Roger
    >Pickard, while he was away on holiday, which is the reason for the delay
    >in making this announcement.
    >Any other reports of this object should be sent to:
    >Dr John Mason, British Astronomical Association,
    >51 Orchard Way, Barnham, West Sussex  PO22 0HX
    I determine that this object was indeed an Iridium (iridium 61, to be
    Iridium 61       4.0  1.8  0.0  6.5 d  8.0       780 x 776 km
    1 25263U 98018B   02177.47365452 -.00000017  00000-0 -13243-4 0  7363
    2 25263  86.3962  84.4802 0002657  71.0159 289.1323 14.34217508222888
    The date is erroneously reported as Jun26, when it was in fact June 25.
    It flared to -6 in cassiopeia at position 01:10hrs +56.
    It was not stationary, but in 16 seconds moved from 01:22 hrs, +56 to
    00:57 hrs, +56.
    Best wishes,
    Russell  Eberst
    55.9486N,   3.1383W,  150 feet = 46 metres above MSL
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