RE: Unid satellite?

From: Ted Molczan (
Date: Sun Oct 10 2004 - 09:38:49 EDT

  • Next message: Leo Barhorst: "LB obs 2004-10-10 evening"

    Using your revised coordinates, "45N30, 122W52", on your corrected date, 2004
    Oct 07, Lacrosse 4 would have passed 0.59 deg below Polaris, near 12:20:12 UTC. 
    You described the appulse distance as much closer: "Much, much less than 0.5
    degree. To my eye, the sat and Polaris were almost one object in the sky";
    however, your site coordinates are approximate, and varying them within less
    than 0.2 deg results in a coincident appulse.
    Except for the blinking, your description of magnitude ("roughly 2"), colour
    ("naked eye it seemed to be pale white, with a hint of very faint yellow") and
    time of travel from shadow exit to Polaris ("about 2 minutes"), are reasonably
    consistent with Lacrosse 4.
    I found no other likely satellite candidates, and you are confident that it was
    not an airplane, so apparently it was Lacrosse 4.
    As for your UNID, this one seems a plausible candidate:
    Cosmos 2360 r   10.4  3.9  0.0  3.9 v 21.3
    1 25407U 98045B   04280.93876024 -.00000048  00000-0  00000+0 0  8460
    2 25407  71.0078  61.0869 0006068  68.6681 291.5088 14.15417703320098
    It travelled toward the NNE, and you reported E; however, direction of travel is
    easily and commonly misjudged. Predicted magnitude was about 3, but mag 1 is
    possible on occasion, in agreement with your estimate.
    Here is Heavens-Above's prediction:
    Here is Lacrosse 4's path, for comparison:
    Ted Molczan
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