Long, bright flare

Ed Cannon (edcannonutaustin@netscape.net)
17 Sep 99 04:48:07 CDT

At about 2:48 UTC on 17 Sept I happened to see a brighter-than-Vega "star"
making a flat, down-pointing isoceles triangle with alpha and beta UMi
(Polaris and Kochab).  It remained that bright for about 30 to 45 seconds. It
was moving quite slowly to the north (mostly to the right and a little down). 
This was better than a couple of weeks ago when Seasat passed near and
outshone Arcturus for a few seconds.  The preliminary candidate seems to be
Cosmos 2344 (24827, 97-28A), but I am not familiar with what type of object it
is.  The RCS in my Quicksat predictions is 48 -- pretty large.  The range at
the time was almost 3200 kilometers.  While I was watching it (for about four
minutes), it did not pass very near any star that I could see; the most
"notable" star that went through the field was a binary, unnamed in the Bright
Star Atlas, at about RA 13h, Dec +83.  Observing location was 30.3068N,
97.7267W, 150m.

Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas, USA

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