Two UNIDs from Manchaca TX

From: John A. Dormer 2 (
Date: Thu Jul 20 2006 - 01:06:49 EDT

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    There were two coincidental observations made this evening, which is
    good as the observer missed the first of two satellites which were
    desired to be seen (wanted two, saw three). The observer was roughly at
    30d8m42.6sN 97d52m43.8sW. Both observations occurred on 19 July 2006 CDT.
    Heavens Above doesn't list any object above 4.5 magnitude which matches
    either of these.
    The first occurred between 22:37:55 and 22:38:20 CDT (0337 and 0338
    UTC), within one degree directly below Jupiter. A fast-moving
    south-bound object was observed. It was between 3.5 and 4.0 magnitude.
    It was able to be followed for about a quarter-minute until it was
    obscured by trees at elevation of about 20 degrees. The instrument used
    was a Bushnell 12x50 binocular, model 13-1250. This was probably a
    nearly-polar orbit, but insufficient observations exist to determine the
    exact inclination. :<
    The second was a naked-eye object of magnitude 2. It was spotted while
    waiting for Envisat to show up in Bootes. Fifteen seconds prior to the
    23:28:00 CDT appearance time for Envisat, the observer noted a vehicle
    coming up roughly parallel to Mizar A (RA 13:23:55.5 Dec 54:55:31.0) and
    Benetnasch (RA 13:47:32.40 Dec 49:18:48.0) in Ursa Major, also traveling
    southward. It was within five degrees of elevation above this line at
    the time. It disappeared into the Earth's shadow within a few seconds of
    Envisat coming out, so the two vehicles were at similar altitudes but
    different inclinations.
    Can anyone lend a hand on these? Equipment is simple, but includes a
    WWV-synchronized wristwatch for when the observer has less-surprising
    events unfold.
    For the future, what tools are available which would allow determination
    of likely candidate vehicles? Will I have to write my own? SGP4 looks
    challenging. 8>
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