Bright rapid flashing geo

From: Bev M Ewen-Smith (
Date: Fri Mar 28 2008 - 11:50:25 UTC

  • Next message: Ted Molczan: "RE: Bright rapid flashing geo"

    Obs time 2008-03-28 00:08
    Obs posn N37 11 24 W008 36 00
    We were trying to get a spectrum of a quasar last 
    night and while waiting for a gap in the clouds 
    we noticed a repetitive bright flash (mag +4) 
    from a position about 2 degrees south of pi Vir 
    (sat at approx 12h01m+0430').  There was 
    intermittent broken cloud so timing the flash was 
    imprecise but it appeared to be about 8 seconds 
    but could conceivably be a multiple or even a 
    submultiple of that.  The flash itself was very 
    brief indeed (flash bulb) consistent with the 
    short period.  The flashing continued for 5 
    minutes or so.  During that time, the source 
    seemed to move (apparently) slowly eastwards with 
    respect to the stars in a way consistent with it 
    being a (somewhat inclined) geostationary sat.
    My TLEs indicate nothing in that position at the 
    time but Gorizont 29 and Gorizont 32 were around 
    5 degrees to the west of where we were seeing the 
    flash.  I have seen other Gorizonts mentioned as 
    flashers but not either of these, I think.  None 
    of the Gorizonts listed had such a short period.
    Are there reports of either of these flashing at 
    such a high rate?   Is there anything else east 
    of these two that would match the observation better?
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