Re: SPOT 1 r BJ

Mir16609 (
Mon, 9 Mar 1998 20:45:22 EST

This is too wierd.

I'll usually print my Skymap plots a few days ahead of time.  This evening
there was a brief period of time without cloud cover.   After observing Cosmos
1220 passing through the handle of the Big Dipper, I scanned to the right and
saw what appeared to be a flasher.  It reminded me of  Cosmos 2333 r (24198,
96051B).  It passed left to right a couple of degrees below the moon at
19:16:50 EST (00:16:50 UT).  It didn't take long to identify it as SPOT 1 r BJ
(17206, 86019BJ).    It was difficult to estimate the brightness but it was
probably about a 4.0.   This piece of debris has really been making the rounds

A few minutes later 25018 (67064B) passes through the Big Dipper.  It did not
give it's usual flash pattern on this pass.  It's brightness seemed to vary
from a 2.5 to 4.0.  Normally I expect to see this r/b to go invisible during
the dark part of the 15 second flash cycle.   Not tonight.

Don Gardner
76.8419 W, 39.1796 N,  34m ASL