RE: Unusual NOSS 4(E) pass, +2 mag

From: Ted Molczan (
Date: Wed Jun 18 2003 - 10:04:44 EDT

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    Ed Cannon reported:
    > Mike was watching NOSS 4(E) (13844, 83-008E) with his 
    > telescope (or maybe the 12x80 finder?) and said the 
    > satellite was getting brighter and brighter.  I looked 
    > up toward the Big Dipper (Ursa Major), and the 
    > satellite was about +2 magnitude, near the handle, 
    > which it went through.  I didn't note the time well, 
    > but I think it was around 3:31-32 June 18 UTC.
    It is seldom mentioned anymore, but the first generation NOSS were known to
    occasionally brighten to around magnitude 2, much the same as the 2nd
    generation NOSS.
    On 1988 Aug 19 at 07:54 UTC, I happened to spot three bright satellites in a
    triangular formation, moving from SW to NE. The leader was magnitude 3, the
    trailer mag 2, and the outlier, mag 4. They were high in the SW when I spotted
    them, and they rapidly faded to invisibility as they passed almost directly
    overhead, due to the phase angle with the sun becoming unfavourable.
    I identified them as the NOSS 4 triad, 83008E, F and H (they were still in
    formation at that time). Normally, they would not have been brighter than mag
    Ted Molczan
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