Re: Help with a UNID

Ralph McConahy (
Sat, 14 Nov 1998 09:02:00 -0800

Thanks for checking Ed.

Re: your mention of "a fast-moving southbound object"
This may not have been the same object as I saw. I usually think of "fast"
as having MM > 15.2. My guess is that what I saw has a MM of about 14.7 or

  Ralph McConahy
  34.8829N  117.0064W  670m

-----Original Message-----
From: Ed Cannon <>
To: <>
Date: Saturday, November 14, 1998 2:46 AM
Subject: Re: Help with a UNID

>Ralph McConahy ( 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
>>   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 - - Austin, Texas, USA