Re: Unidentified Bright Tumbling Satellite - Identified

Jim Varney (jvarney@mail2.quiknet.com)
Tue, 03 Sep 1996 18:22:30 -0700

Robert Sheaffer wrote:

>The elements in your latest (Aug. 30) file predicted that the object,
>if it were Cosmos 2322 r, would reappear the following evening,
>passing near the zenith at 20:36:40. (Sep. 2 03:36:40 UT)
>This is exactly what happened.
>So the identity of the tumbler is now known. Once again, the 
>brightness was greater than predicted, M 2 to 2.5 at its peak. 
>Using a tape recorder and later a stopwatch, I timed the duration
>of ten tumbles at 21.2 seconds, which exactly matches the tumbling
>rate you stated.

Hello from a fellow Northern Californian!

I was watching the same object at about the same time.  In PPAS
database format, I recorded this observation

95- 58 B 96-09-02 03:38      JEV  54.4 0.3  25  2.18 AA

i.e., 25 flashes in 54.4 sec for a period of 2.18 seconds.

(To find out more about the Photometric Periods of Artificial 
Satellites database, see http://www.rzg.mpg.de/~bdp/satintro.html
or http://www.physics.ox.ac.uk/sat/satintro.html)

This a beautiful satellite -- if I had to make up a top ten list,
this one would be on it.

 -- Jim

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Jim Varney      |  121^ 23' 54" W,  38^ 27' 28" N   |           Sacramento, CA
Member, SeeSat-L|            Elev. 31 ft.           |jvarney@mail2.quiknet.com
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