What a Night!

From: Brad Young (brad.young@domain-engineering.com)
Date: Fri Jun 22 2007 - 11:22:09 EDT

  • Next message: Greg Roberts: "Re:What a night"

    Cannot post timings / positions till later, but it might be best to post
    this now for tonight's opportunities. Approximate data in [].
    First, it was nice just to be able to see anything at all after weeks of bad
    weather. Last night's conditions were poor, very humid with passing clouds
    and lots of high thin cirrus lit by the moon. But at least it wasn't
    Double pass of ISS and Atlantis was spectacular - after missing so many it
    was well worth the wait. Almost overhead, ISS seemed a little brighter than
    before, with Atlantis trailing by [50] sec and slightly more westerly track
    (as expected with the burn mentioned yesterday). Both followed to shadow
    ingress, mags -2, -0.5 respectively.
    Then, with AMS-1 (9415), I think I did see Ed's object! Trying to see it, I
    did not time flashes or positions of 9415 (very irregular, at one point it
    flashed to +2 twice and then disappeared for 20 sec). The "object" was VERY
    dim (mag 7 or more), but it had two characteristics that lead me to think it
    was real. One, it did not move respective to the main body when I changed
    angle of binoculars or averted vision, unlike ghosts which do. Also, it did
    not change brightness with AMS-1; when AMS-1 flared, it was not brighter,
    and seemed to still be visible during dim periods for main body. The two
    timings below [later] are only when I was > 50% sure I saw it. Very
    intriguing, we definitely need to keep looking. I guess even as debris,
    Space-Track would not post elements since main body is classified.
    THEN, MetOp-A slightly brightened to equal [Pi? Her] and as it did, was
    passed by faster, brighter UNID, [which I need to id]. MetOp-A "flare" was
    about a second, timing [later] is start of flare, where it changed from
    orangish to an almost gunmetal glint.
    Last but not least, I discovered a "NOSS pair" in far north. Saw Cosmos 1154
    r/b (11683) 1X at 3:29:51.14 16h20 +68, followed by Cosmos 1271 r/b (12465)
    which I noticed in binocs while tracking the then UNID. Sure had me fooled -
    thought I had found an unknown NOSS pair!
    Brad Young
    TULSA 1
    COSPAR 8336
    36.1397N, 95.9838W, 205m ASL
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