97-15B/24762, Cosmos 2340 SL-6 Rk1 -- I think....

Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Thu, 15 May 1997 03:47:22 -0500

I believe that I observed 97-15B/24762, Cosmos 2340 SL-6 Rk1 at about 
1:42 UT Thursday.  I'm somewhat uncertain because this was 22 minutes 
before the Quicksat 10-degree twilight time.  The elements were one
day old.  The culmination was at about 298 km (186 miles).  I first 
saw the object at one-power (i.e., "naked-eye", except I wear glasses).  
It was bright, mag. 0 or 1 (or brighter?).  Then I aimed my binoculars 
at it and observed very distinct flashes with a period of about 10 
seconds (counted, not timed).

Two minutes later I had a prediction for 23405/94-77B, Cosmos 2297 Rk,
at mag. 2.3.  It's a flashing object which in quicksat.mag had a period 
of 13 sec. in July 1996.  Its track was similar to 97-15B, although 
94-77B is in an orbit of about 846 km.  If I had not had an accurate 
clock with me, I would have less confidence that I saw 97-15B rather 
than 94-77B.  But my clock seems to stay accurate to within about 1/2 
second or less per week.

It is possible that 97-15B could have been that bright at 298 km (in
the east, pretty good phase angle)?  I hope that someone else will see 
it and confirm that it's flashing or not.

Ed Cannon
Austin, Texas, USA
30.3086N, 97.7279W