Another "What the...!"

Randy Parker (randyp@test490.pac.sc.ti.com)
Fri, 26 Sep 1997 21:51:54 -0500 (CDT)

Sorry to clutter the channel with another "What the *&^% is
THAT!" type of posting, but I am really curious as to what I
just saw.

Location:	32.55 96.34	(Dallas, Texas)
Time:		01:40 UTC   	(20:40 CDT)

I had just successfully spotted 21225 (GRO) on a pass, looked
down at my notes, looked up and saw a VERY bright satellite
heading south. It was as bright as Jupiter and passed almost
directly over Jupiter in it's travel. It quickly faded and vanished
from sight. Sorry for the vague landmarks on the sighting but
I'm a definite amateur and was also caught off-guard by this.
I immediately ran inside and plotted where the Mir/Shuttle was
but it was nowhere near my location.

Did I see an infamous Iridium flash?

I would be very interested to know how this type of problem is
solved and what tools are used so that I can avoid this type of 
posting the next time this happens.

My computer situation:

OP System:	Redhat Linux 2.0.30 kernel (Microsoft DIE!)
Sat Packages:	quicksat for predictions, cut-off set at
		mag 3.5 due to light pollution.
		SatTrack for real-time tracking.

I mirror the Molczan elements from kilroy.jpl.nasa.gov nightly.

If there is a FAQ on solving this type of problem please point me to
it. To avoid posting clutter please respond by private mail,
unless you think it would be generally instructional to respond
publicly.

Many thanks and regards,
Randy Parker
Dallas, Texas