Re: Slow moveing unknown

Stephmon@aol.com
Tue, 11 May 1999 00:37:55 EDT

In a message dated 5/10/99 9:43:41 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
kj5tf@madisoncounty.net writes:

<< 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. >>

Well, you asked for guesses, so I ran a check of alldat.tle and found a few 
candidates (I'm afraid I can't say they seem likely, based on mean 
magnitude). Below are the edited outputs from Satellite Hunting...

First, the best match for time and path (the star plot shows it actually 
passing -through- the bowl of the big dipper). Alldat doesn't include a mean 
magnitude, but a mag 0 pass would require an extremely fortunate 'flare' 
geometry, or a mean magnitude of roughly +0.7 (I think we would all be 
familiar with it, if this were the case). Is anyone familiar with this object?

UTC		Sat Name	Sat #	Elev.	Azimuth	Height
02:25:05	90081CD	20971	 20°	161° [S]	 830
02:28:55	90081CD	20971	 81°	073° [E]	 827
02:32:45	90081CD	20971	 20°	350° [N]	 824

Cosmos 465 passed through the bowl of the big dipper (just inside gamma Ursa 
Major) and makes a near zenith pass, but the calculated magnitude is about 
+6.2. This is the highest/slowest of the candidates.

UTC		Sat Name		Sat #	Elev.	Azimuth	Height
02:19:49	Cosmos 465	05683	 20°	196° [S]	 994
02:24:29	Cosmos 465	05683	 89°	007° [N]	 999
02:29:12	Cosmos 465	05683	 20°	017° [N]	 1003

The next two pass through the handle, very near the bowl (between delta and 
epsilon Ursa Major). Calculated magnitudes are 4.8 for Iridium 59 and 5.4 for 
DMSP B4D2-7. Iridium 59 should have been far from a favorable flare geometry, 
but if it has strayed from its ideal antenna orientation, a flare might be 
possible.

UTC		Sat Name	Sat #	Elev.	Azimuth	Height
02:26:35	Iridium 59	25275	 20°	175° [S]	 775
02:30:15	Iridium 59	25275	 79°	087° [E]	 775
02:33:56	Iridium 59	25275	 20°	006° [N]	 775

UTC		Sat Name		Sat #	Elev.	Azimuth	Height
02:28:09	DMSP B5D2-7	23233	 20°	155° [S]	 841
02:31:59	DMSP B5D2-7	23233	 71°	073° [E]	 840
02:35:50	DMSP B5D2-7	23233	 20°	354° [N]	 840
___________________________________________
Regards,
Stephen
Satellite Hunting v1.0.1 is available for download at
http://stephen.fathom.org/sathunt.html