RE: Satelite Ident.

From: Kevin Z Grey (
Date: Sun Jul 11 2004 - 00:39:28 EDT

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    I guess I didn't estimate the pass by Alkaid very well, but I went out
    again tonight to make sure I had Arcturus identified correctly, which
    I'm certain I did (With all the light pollution here, I can only see a
    handful of stars with which to identify constellations).
    It has to be ADEOS 2.  The pass for IDEFIX/Ari 4 R/B doesn't match up
    properly with what I saw.
    I thought for a while it might have been the Corona Borealis that it
    passed through on its way to Ursa Major, but changed my mind simply
    because it's too difficult to spot with the light pollution here.
    One thing for certain is that I'm sure of the color (red) and that it
    was almost as bright as Alkaid (hence the 1-2 magnitude guestimate).  If
    it were a 5, I wouldn't have seen it at all.
    I was almost certain that it passed closer to Alkaid as well.  Is it
    possible for the TLE to have a certain degree of inaccuracy?  If I had a
    pen and paper on me, I would have been able to log the information
    better (doh!)
    -----Original Message-----
    From: Ted Molczan [] 
    Sent: Saturday, July 10, 2004 4:11 PM
    To: SeeSat-L
    Subject: RE: Satelite Ident.
    Kevin Grey requested the identity of a satellite:
    >         Roughly travelling North West making a line from 
    > Arcturus to Alkaid (eta Ursae Majoris).  It was red in color 
    > and dimmed slowly as it travelled north.  The time was 11:38 
    > PM Eastern Time, location: New York City (more specifically, 
    > Jersey City: 40deg 43' 47"N, 74deg 4' 11" W). Visual 
    > magnitude was perhaps a 1 or 2 at brightest when I saw it 
    > (hard for me to guestimate because it was very red).
    ADEOS 2 passed close to Arcturus, but rather far from Alkaid:
    ADEOS 2          0.0  0.0  0.0  4.9 v
    1 27597U 02056A   04192.28416049 -.00000014  00000-0  12544-4 0  4916
    2 27597  98.6673 267.2286 0001270 102.6510 257.4773 14.25882072 81833
    Did you actually observe it in close proximity to Alkaid, or did you
    project its
    travel in that direction?
    If this was ADEOS 2, then it was unusually bright. It predicted
    magnitude was
    about 5.
    The satellite is covered mostly by a gold thermal blanket, which would
    expected to make it appear yellow-red:
    Ted Molczan
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