Help with ident of tumbling sat

David.Psaila@au.jdsunph.com
Mon, 29 Nov 1999 15:27:12 +1000

Hi,

I have been lurking on this list for approx 12 months, enjoying many of the
posts. I live in Sydney, Australia about 7km south of the city centre.
This, of course, makes satellite observations challenging because of light
pollution.
I was hoping that someone could help identify an interesting satellite I
saw last night.
I first caugth the satellite at approx. 11:20 UT on 28th November (10:20
AEST on the 28th locally) in my 8" dobs at ~60X just near Alpha Aries. It
was moving in a easterly direction maintaining approximately the same
altitude, passsing about 5 deg. south of the Pleiades at approx 11:30 UT.
The satellite had a magnitude of ~7.0-8.0 but it was clearly tumbling. The
light curve seemed to display 2 or 3 three peaks in about a 3 second
interval with the brightest being a short sharp flash to about mag. 5.0.
The other notable feature of this satellite was the leisurely pace at which
it was moving across the sky. It took approximately 25 sec to cross a 1 deg
field in my telescope - which made tracking very easy.

Any help in identifying this sat would be appreciated.

This topped-off a good night's viewing which included the HST, two Iridium
flares, SL-16, and one of the NOSS trios amongst others.

Regards

David Psaila
Sydney, Australia
Lat: -33.9166
Long. 151.2833 E
El. 20 m


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