What was it?

Jonathan Dietrich (jpdietrich@flash1.flashmail.com)
Fri, 24 Sep 1999 21:32:20 -0400

My dad and I just came back from our neighbor's field where we watched the
moon rise.  It was really nice.  We saw a satellite flare - it was not an
Iridium flare because I checked on GSOC and there was no flare for tonight.
The flare was about magnitude -6; I have not guessed magnitudes much, so
give it a little room for error; I know it was a bit brighter than Venus.
Anyway, it was approximately altitude 30 and azimuth was approximately 145 -
150.  Again, these are estimates.  The brightest part of the flare was about
10 - 15 seconds and it lasted for probably over 30 seconds.  The time was
20:07 EST.  Does anybody know what this satellite was?  Is it possible that
it was lit by the full moon?  The reason I ask is because the flare was not
brilliant white, but sort of "moon colored."  Maybe the satelite was just in
sunset and the orange color came from that.


Jonathan Dietrich
jpdietrich@flash.flashmail.com
Greeneville, Tennessee
Lat= 35.995100   Long= 82.833800