RE: Slow moving unknown

Matson, Robert (
Mon, 10 May 1999 20:18:51 -0700

Hi Jim,

> Sunday evening (monday 02:31 UTC) I was outside and saw a 0 magnitude
> satellite moveing slowly north. It passed 5 - 10 degrees east of the
> zenith and then faded to  invisable.  It's path would have taken it
> thru the bowl of the big dipper. I think the inclination must have
> been nearly 90 deg.  Its speed reminded me of Pageos, so it must
> have been pretty high up.  Anyone have a guess on what satellite I saw?

The only good match for the time, direction and location was Iridium 59.
However, Iridium 59 should not have been flaring up at this time (which
is the only reason it would get to magnitude +0).  If IR59 is experiencing
pointing problems, then it is possible that it could have briefly flared up
for you (which would explain why it appeared to fade to invisible soon
after you spotted it).