Call for UNK-GEOSYNC observations, 98003

Richard Baldridge (
Wed, 25 Nov 1998 12:26:00 -0800

The following is for anyone interested in observing geosync satellites:
About a month ago, I stumbled upon a geosat whose identity remains
unknown.  It flashes every 8-10 seconds to magnitude 8-to-10
(occasionally to 6th) with an irregular period.  It is not readily
accessible with binoculars but is a pretty easy target with a 6" or
larger telescope.

Mike McCants took my observations and fit an orbit, which currently
appears as the last entry in his distributed el-set.  The most
up-to-date elset appears below.

Unknown          6.0  0.0  0.0  5.5 d
1 98003U          98319.30591807  .00000060  00000-0  51077+4 0    05
2 98003  15.5596   4.4534 0007000 241.8390 118.1610  0.99815108    06

The satellite is presently at 177 West Longitude, drifting westward,
observable from the West Coast of the USA, Hawaii, Japan, New Zealand,
the Philippines and Australia.  However, I will soon lose sight of the
satellite and it will be several months before I can observe it again
from California.  I'd like to reacquire it then and need additional
observations to refine the orbit.

Since it has an inclination of 15.5 degrees, a good mapping program like
SKYMAP by Rob Matson is a must -- you cannot simply scan the
"geostationary band" to find it.

I'd ask our "East-Longitude" SeeSat friends to forward any observations
of this interesting geosat to me at the E-mail address below.


RICK BALDRIDGE     N37.272 W121.977 72M  Campbell, CA  USA