Re: Possible re-entry sighted

From: Alan Pickup (alan@wingar.demon.co.uk)
Date: Sun Oct 01 2000 - 13:57:42 PDT

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    >I am an amateur astronomer and had the opportunity to spend a 
    >couple hours observing last night (9/29-30) under dark skies from 
    >my site 15 miles north of Duluth, MN. I have seen many meteors in 
    >my time but last night offered something truly unusual. At 12:53 
    >a.m. I spotted a slow-moving, northward traveling "meteor" moving 
    >from northern Cetus in the southeast clear across the eastern sky 
    >disappearing some 10 seconds later 4 degrees above the 
    >northeastern horizon. The object was yellow-orange, about mag. -
    >1.0  and left a continuous contrail as it leisurely traveled across the 
    >eastern sky. I even had time to train the finder on my telescope on 
    >it when it was very low in the north. Would I be right to assume this 
    >was probably a piece of a satellite burning up? Were there any re-
    >entry predictions for yesterday evening?
    >Thanks for your help and comments!
    
    The apparent velocity of this object appears too high for it to be a
    decaying satellite. Neither can I find a decayer that could have been
    responsible for this report. The closest two are #26149 and #24238. the
    former (CBERS LM4 deb AK) may have decayed early on the 30th UTC
    (perhaps 02:00 UTC) though there was no published elset during its final
    day. In any case, its orbital plane took it nowhere near Duluth near the
    time of the observation. #24238 = Pegasus deb LM may have decayed at
    about 07:00 UTC on the 30th, but again there was no elset in the last
    day and the orbital plane was in the wrong place.
    
    Alan
    -- 
    Alan Pickup / COSPAR 2707:  55d53m48.7s N   3d11m51.2s W      156m asl
    Edinburgh  / SatEvo & elsets:    http://www.wingar.demon.co.uk/satevo/
    Scotland  / Decay Watch: http://www.wingar.demon.co.uk/satevo/dkwatch/
    
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