Re: Two unsolved obs

Willie Koorts (wpk@saao.ac.za)
Thu, 8 May 1997 09:29:36 +0200 (GMT+0200)

On Wed, 7 May 1997 hahn@geographie.uni-kiel.de wrote:

> On April 26th, around 21:12 UTC I observed a violently flashing satellite
> (period about 1-1.5s, maybe 2 magnitudes brightness difference)=20
> <snip>
> This evening, May 7, around 20:52 UTC, while waiting for Cosmos 2313, my=
=20
> attention was drawn to an easily visible satellite (around magnitude 1.6=
=20
> at RA 16h31m, Decl 22=B012') that seems to be USSPACECOM 24670 (96069 A).

This sounds a lot like something I saw the night of May 6 around 06H02 UT=
=20
from Long. 19.0147 E  Lat. 33.6489 S.  I was still recovering from the=20
dissapointment of missing an excellent (60 deg alt.) Iridium pass=20
(because of my own fault - lost track of time) when my eye caught a
bright flasher close to the horizon.  Because I live under the flightpath=
=20
of the main air traffic from Cape Town,  my first thought was a plane. =20
When I realised it was moving away from me (therefore cannot be landing=20
lights) and the absence of the telltale red and green navigation lights,=20
I pointed my telescope (20X80 spotting scope) at it and still could=20
not ID it as a plane.  It was very yellow and was flashing at about 1 Hz=20
at about 2nd mag. with maybe 2 secondary maxima in between.  I first saw=20
it at Alt 15 Az 45 and it dissapeared behind my house at Alt 10 Az 50=20
about a minute later.

Sorry I did not have time yet to try and identify it myself.

Willie