UNID Highflying flasher

Eric Vondra (evondra@usaor.net)
Tue, 24 Mar 1998 03:19:00 -0500

This one has me stumped. I tried Mike McCants' alldat.tle, eccen.tle, and Molczan
files in Satspy 2.5 and couldn't find a match. Details:

Very highflying sat (moved about 1 degree every 4-5 minutes), quick white flash to
about mag 6 for less than a second, then invisible for about 8 seconds and repeating
without variation. Invisible in 4.5-inch reflector when not flashing. Movement from
near zenith to north-northeast.
First position at 0610 UT (0110 EST) about 2 degrees east-northeast of Eta Ursae
Majoris (the end star in the handle of the "Big Dipper"--approx RA 14h 5m Dec +51).
Last position at 0635 UT (0135 EST) approx RA 14h 25m Dec +55.

Observing from 40.9N 80.6W, 200m (Wampum, PA)

I first picked the flashes up in 7x35 binoculars while waiting for Pageos rocket (66
056B, #2255). Positions are estimates (2nd one especially weak due to increasing
clouds), but I didn't see anything that came close to matching. This was fun to watch
in the telescope. Any takers on this one?

Eric Vondra
Wampum, PA