Unknown satellite

From: Edward S Light (light@argoscomp.com)
Date: Wed Sep 10 2003 - 08:07:54 EDT

  • Next message: Petteri Kankaro: "2003/09/09 observations"

    Last night, while casually sweeping the sky with my 10x50 binoculars,
    I noticed a satellite pass between alpha and gamma CrB moving slowly
    to the left (slightly below directly left), at about +5.5 magnitude.
    Later, when I tried IDing it using the latest alldat.tle, the only
    object at all close in time or position was Midas 5 = NCAT 00271 =
    COSPAR 62-010A (or, for us old timers, 1962 kappa 1). Unfortunately,
    what I saw was 3-4 magnitudes brighter than what one would predict
    using 00271's standard magnitude of 5.9 or quicksat's intrinsic
    magnitude of 4.5.  In the short time I was looking at this, no
    variation was obvious.
    
    The particulars:
    Observed at N 40.1075, W 074.2312, Hgt +24 m
    Date/time: 2003 Sep 10/00:20.4 UTC (Sep 09/20:20.4 EDT).
    Alt/Azim: 50/263.
    
    IF IT WAS 00271 Midas 5, it was 3316 km distant with an astronomical
    phase angle of 113 degrees.
    
    Has anyone seen this object flare or otherwise brighten? Or can anyone
    suggest another ID for what I saw? (The time is good to < 1/2 minute.)
    
    Thanks.
    
    Clear and dark skies!
    
    Ed Light
    
    Lakewood, NJ, USA
    N 40.1075, W 074.2312, Hgt +24 m (80 ft)
    
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