Re: help on an unid? (a bit long)

From: Denise Moser (
Date: Mon Sep 05 2011 - 17:59:30 UTC

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    Sorry, forgot Important details:  This was 4 Sept 2011, 9:27:30 (ish) PST
    (-8 standard offset from UTC) and at 47.40 deg North, 123.00 deg West.
    P.S.  Colin is pulling for the spy satellite.  I'm thinking it was a plane.
    On Mon, Sep 5, 2011 at 10:53 AM, Denise Moser <> wrote:
    > I was having a little star party with my grade-school aged grand-nephews on
    > the deck overlooking the Hood Canal in NW Washington State .  In the
    > half-hour before bedtime (tent camping on the deck), I picked out three
    > relatively bright satellites to see.  We missed the first one playing with
    > the Tasco telescope on the quarter moon.  We lost the second to lights to
    > the east from Seattle-Tacoma and the third one should been an easy overhead
    > one, but we missed it.
    > While we lamented our luck, Collin, the oldest (and most interested) looked
    > up overhead and saw something going West.  It was probably about 2-3 mag, in
    > the summer triangle going across the southern part of Cygnus and the
    > northern part of Aquila (or south of Lyra.  We lost it as it left the summer
    > triangle (it either d, mmed or clouds, again).  The younges, Nathan, was
    > manning the atomic clock and he reported that it was 9:27 (:30 or :40, I
    > think) PST.  I couldn't find the binoculars (set under a seat on the
    > deck)--though Jack (the middle one) found it by the time we lost our
    > sighting.  So, I couldn't look for blinking lights to rule out a high
    > airplane.  I told Colin that the about the only thing that went West was the
    > Isreali military satellite, OFEQ. I checked out Heavens-Above and CalSky but
    > there was nothing else going any direction overhad 4.5 mag overhead at that
    > time.  I tried the 8/31 elements for it in Heavensat and it shows it in our
    > low southern skies going west about 1/2 earlier but at magnitude 9.
    > He asked me to check with the experts, you here on the list, that I had
    > been telling him about.  So, any one with any ideas?
    > If not it was still an "awesome" star party, according to Jack this
    > morning.  It ended at 9:30 with the brightest Iridium (-8) like a blaring
    > headlight, in Pegauis that I ever saw.  A bonus was that it turned out to be
    > a mild double--it was followed by a 0 mag flare from its spare, just a few
    > seconds later.  And we could see both of them at 3 or so for a minute or so,
    > thereafter.
    > Thanks for checking.
    > Denise M.
    > (usually in Kansas City, MO)
    > (length and detail for printout for the kids)
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