unidentified object

From: tom (loeblt@gmail.com)
Date: Sat Jun 23 2012 - 17:53:16 UTC

  • Next message: Björn Gimle: "Re: unidentified object"

    Hi,
    I have no background in serious satellite tracking but have seen hundreds of them during my nights out with my telescope imaging sessions and I can tell the difference from a plane or meteor. I was preparing to do some imaging of the near-earth asteroid 2012 LZ1 on the evening of June 17th during late twilight. I saw a naked-eye object moving more or less west to east, north of my zenith, passing perhaps 10 degrees south of Polaris (I am at 41 degrees north latitude) at around 0120 Z. It was probably between mag 0 and -1, brighter than Vega. I initially thought it might have been the ISS but the object was moving faster than I have ever seen a satellite move, probably 2-3 degrees per second. I lost it about 20 degrees above the eastern horizon due to the local tree line. What sort of relative velocity would an object in orbit move if it was at the lowest possible orbit before burning up?
    
    Tom
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