Re: Help with a UNID

Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Sat, 14 Nov 1998 04:08:25 -0500

Ralph McConahy (rmcconahy@earthlink.net) wrote, on Fri, 
13 Nov 1998, at about 18:36:27 -0800:

> During my observing tonight (11/14 UT) I saw a 1x pass 
> that I was unable to identify using either Molczan.tle 
> or the larger file from Kilroy.jpl.nasa.gov.
> 
>   Time: 01:32:20 UT 
>   Az: 90
>   El: 60
>   Moving S -> N, near culmination at this time
>   Time within 2s
>   Angles within 5 deg
>   34.8829N  117.0064W  670m

Using alldat.tle, I didn't find any either.

This induces me to mention a one-power UNID I saw on 3 Nov 98 
UTC.  From 30.286N, 97.739W, 150m, I was looking for AMS 2 
(DMSP F2, 10033, 77-44A).  It was to be southbound, with its 
predicted culmination at alt. 50, azi. 98 at 0:52:19.  About 
30-45 seconds early I saw in the NE a fast-moving southbound 
object of about mag. +3.5 at about the right altitude, and I 
lost it in the SE at about 0:52:01.  Besides being early, it 
seemed too fast for 10033, whose range was predicted at about 
995 km.  Later with alldat.tle I found no matches using 
Quicksat or Highfly.  So I decided it must have been an 
airplane, although it didn't flash or look like one otherwise.  
I sure wish I'd gotten better times....

Could an object in low polar LEO (high MM) that was moving 
south in the evening at long. 98W on 3 Nov be moving north in 
the evening at long. 117W after 11 days?  (I doubt it but 
don't really know.)

We've had cloudy skies here for two weeks, except for last 
Tuesday evening....

Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas, USA