Re: help with id.

From: Tony Beresford (
Date: Thu Oct 30 2003 - 03:54:15 EST

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    At 16:59 30/10/03, you wrote:
    >This morning at 0508utc(12:08 AM EST)  I spotted what I think was a flashing geosync. I was looking at Aldebaran and noticed a small flasher just above the star in the eyepiece. It was flashing  every 3 to 4 seconds and as I watched over a 3 min. span it gradually decreased in magnitude and finally disappeared. The Ra was 4hrs,27 min. Dec.+16. 
    >If anyone could help with the identification of this satellite I would appreciate it. This is the first of this type that I have seen.
    The RA of Aldebaran is more like 04h 37minutes Scott. So I used this and came up with  
    likely suspect. This isnt a geosat, but an old upper stage in Geo transfer orbit, used back
    in 1981 to put the comstar 1D or comstar D-4 into geo transfer orbit. International Id
    81 018B, catalog number 12363 . Its a centaur upper stage. Its currently in a
    orbit inclined 20 degrees to equator orbit is 624 by 36,280km. You saw it at a range of
    some 27000km. Mike McCant's Highfly predicts mag 10 for its magnitude. You didnt
    estimate its brightness at peak. There are a large number of these upper stages in
    orbit, and current launches to GEO from Cape Canaveral utilizing the Atlas launch
    vehicle add to them.
    Tony Beresford
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