Re: Proton rocket - spectacular

Kurt Jonckheere (
Thu, 29 May 1997 00:35:41 +0200

At 22:57 27-05-97 GMT, Nick Quinn wrote:
>I saw the Telstar 5 Proton rocket on 1997 May 27 21.57UT. Flashing mag. 0 to 5, 
>moving very rapidly across the sky.

I observed it (= 97- 26 B = 24813) around 21h31 and it *was* spectacular :
Moving really fast, it was flashing with a period of 6.81 +- 0.05 with a 
maxima of about -1.5 and minima of +4.  It moved almost right through
the zenith.

During its pass the magnitude changed in an assymmetrical way : 
shortly after (1-2 seconds) a maximum, the magnitude dropped fast to its
minimu and then the rocket slowly (about 5 seconds) brightened again
to negative magnitudes.

The observation was made from 4 deg, 10 min E,  51 deg, 15 min N, 
about 20 m AMSL between 21h29m UT and 21h32m UT, May 28, 1997.

It passed between alfa and beta of the Big Dipper at 21h30m20.1s UT
RA : 11h00m , Declination : 58 degrees.  The speed made it very difficult
to make an accurate positional measurement.

It was about 30-40 seconds earlier with respect to the elements Alan 
provided yesterday.  

Never saw such a low flasher,

Kurt J