Re: Mystery flasher - 7-7-7

From: Greg Williams (
Date: Sun Jul 08 2007 - 05:54:51 EDT

  • Next message: Lutz Schindler: "Obs 07.07.07"

    Tony Beresford wrote:
    > At 03:22 PM 8/07/2007, Greg Williams wrote:
    >> Coordinates of observation: 36.381801, -83.983054
    >> Location:  North of Lafollette, Tennessee
    >> Object traveling: South to North, towards Big Dipper
    >> Rate of flash: 7-8 seconds
    >> Altitude:  30 degrees at max (estimate)
    >> Time of observation: 11:05 - 11:07 PM Eastern (0304-0307Z)
    >> July 7, 2007 (July 8 zulu)
    >> I got the family out to watch after seeing 4 sats and meteors, and I 
    >> credit my daughter with seeing the mystery object.  It was to our 
    >> west, going north.  She said "I see one" and we all turned to look 
    >> and saw nothing.  She swore she saw it and we thought maybe it was a 
    >> lightning bug (firefly for those outside the sticks :) ) and just as 
    >> we were about to look away it came back and really flashed bright.  A 
    >> very bright magnitude similar to Jupiter just to the south.  It went 
    >> dark again and I counted "one one-thousand, two one-thousand" and it 
    >> flashed again from nothing to bright at 7 seconds.  It would start to 
    >> become visible, and then flash, then dim.  It did this 4 times that 
    >> we saw.  It faded out just below the big dipper as it traveled north.
    > Greg, Using a direction of 30 deg elevation bearing 270 and 0305UT in 
    > Findsat
    > with time error 200 and position error 5 degrees i got quite a few 
    > candidates.
    > ignoring debris and high satellites, i put the remaining thru 
    > heavens-above
    > to sort out the direction
    > This left 10352 77087A
    >           11752 80 026C
    >           20262 89 080C
    >           27550 02049 A
    > please run these thru heavens-above to see which best fitted
    > your observation
    > Tony Beresford
    Thanks much Tony!!
    The last one, 27550, appears to be the closest match based on LOS and 
    it's close proximity to earth against the others.  According to H-A its 
    JB-3, launched by the PRC.  ZiYuan-2, or JianBing-3 is a 4-year old 
    reconnaissance sat with a 2-yr lifespan.  I cant find any info on 
    whether it's still active or not.  - info on satellite.
    10352 (Kosmos 951) might be another possible candidate but not sure 
    based on the fact we lost sight of it after only 3 minutes, if that, of 
    viewing.  Its 30 years old, so I don't think it's still in service, but 
    with it being 1000 km up I don't think I would have seen it.
    I'll plug these in and try to catch them these next few days to see if 
    it does the same as before with the 7-8 second winks.
    If anyone else sees them please advise if they tumbled for you.  ;-)
    Gregory S. Williams
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