Re: Possible new bright GEO flasher

Jim Varney (
Fri, 6 Mar 1998 07:36:18 -0800 (PST)

---Ron Lee <> wrote:
> This came off of sci. astro. amateur (another reason to have 
> the visual newsgroup).  I made a possible ID as 96039B (#23944),
> CZ-3 Rkt.  Bill Gray (Guide fame)  believes it may be 94056A.
> It flashed at about 2nd magnitude (a little brighter than
> beta Librae). The primary flash was followed by two seconds

I posted a follow-up on Usenet that the rocket body can be ruled out because
rocket bodies cannot reach 2nd magnitude at GEO or near-GEO heights.  The
singularity of the observed 2nd magnitude flash suggests a large shiny flat
surface like a solar panel.

94 56A is Kiku 6, also known as ETS-6, a Japanese comsat that failed to reach
proper orbit due to a kick motor failure.  You'll find information at

(yes, the 'yyy' is correct - not www!).

If this object is Kiku 6 then it would not a 'new' GEO flasher as I believe
Jay Respler has reported seeing it earlier.
Jim Varney   121.398W  38.458N 8m   Sacramento, CA
  (Sorry.  I am not the "Voice of Slinky Dog."),

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