From: Tony Beresford (
Date: Thu Mar 13 2008 - 13:54:40 UTC

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    It seems the fuel dump for the Centaur upper stage was seen from Bejing.
    Here are some reports by Hang Muen from the Bejing planetarium.
    Posted on the Comet-Obs  list.
    Yiran Wu (39.979deg N, 116.299deg E, northwest suburb of Beijing)
    found the object in Aries by naked-eye and immediately reported to me
    at 11:21 UT (hereafter). Her estimation of total magnitude is
    about -2 ("somewhat bighter than Sirius").
    I myself (39.883deg N, 116.617deg E) saw the object with a 12x60
    binocular. The object had a typical cometary apperance with a
    slightly curved tail towards SE-E, at 11:24. Core magnitude was about
    +0.5, total magnitude about -1.5.
    Hongbin Li at Xinglong Station, NAOC (40.396deg N, 117.578deg E,
    mountain top; MPC code: 327) asked me via internet if there is a very
    bright comet in the western sky at 11:34. But he said that he found
    that object about 20min earlier.
    The 0.8-m Tsinghua-NAOC telescope had pointed in turn to 179P and
    150P since 11:40, but found it was neither of them.
    Yiran Wu reported the object, especially the core, was rapidly
    fading, at 11:43. And could no longer found it since ~11:59. Hongbin
    Li also found the object was expanding, decaying and slowly moving
    toward the north, and finally disappeared to naked-eye at 12:14, near
    382 Per.
    Tony Beresford
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