Re: Unid Geosync Flasher

Mike McCants (mikem@freeside.fc.net)
Fri, 16 Oct 1998 17:20:35 -0500 (CDT)

Rick Baldridge wrote:

>I spotted an unidentified geosynch FLASHER on two successive nights
>which is not in A. Thompson's 4000+ elsets (EL981006 from RPV BBS) or
>McCants' cs981008.  I flashed quite bright, occasionally to about 6th
>magnitude in a very irregular fashion and was quite interesting.

>The following approximate positions were obtained:
>Oct 16, 1998 (UT)  6h18m UT    Dec  -4.45   RA 0h40m48s
>Oct 16, 1998 (UT)  6h53m UT    Dec  -1.65   RA 1h13m36s

I have determined the following approximate elset based on these
two positions:

Unknown       
1 98003U          98289.25034812  .00000000  00000-0  00000+0 0    03
2 98003  16.9500   4.4195 0001000    .0240 359.9760  1.00270000    02

I have assumed a geosynchronous mean motion, so the object could be
1 degree or more east or west of the predicted position.  An inclination
this large would normally indicate that the object was no longer
controlled over the equator about 25 years ago.

The longitude of this object is about 110 degrees west, so it should
be visible from all of the US.  But of course it might flash brightly
over only a relatively small area.

Mike McCants