Last evening (Friday May 12th), I looked for
Orbcomm 1 1.0 0.0 0.0 8.4 1 23545U 95017A 95123.80154040 -.00000503 00000-0 -12667-3 0 236 2 23545 69.9738 42.3009 0012134 37.8916 322.3056 14.45030775 4366
as it was supposed to pass near delta Leo at 950513 022918. (I suppose that it is a radio dot and that I was thus on a fool's errand, but never mind that). My location is approximately -81.86371, +41.37355, 256m. My attention was quickly caught by a bright object moving roughly in the other direction. As the UnID moved out of my 10 degree field of view, I briefly persisted after Orbcomm, but eventually gave up on locating Orbcomm 1 and began to follow the UnID. Since it was so bright, I assumed I would easily be able to identify it and foolishly gave little attention to getting data for it. As it steadily brightened I followed it by naked eye, and when it was near the bowl of the Big Dipper it was about a magnitude brighter than the stars of the Dipper, thus about mag 1. I did squeeze off a rough timing of its appulse within a few degrees of Merak (beta UMa) at about 950513 023038. After it passed the bowl, it dimmed significantly. No object in my file of 1000 bright LEOs exceeded mag 8.5 and had a path anywhere near what I describe, according to my reading of QuickSat output.
[Rainer Kracht identified it as Meteor 1-17, 74- 25 A (#7274).]
On another subject, with Bjoern Gimle's help, I was able to locate an opportunity to view a transit of Mir across the Sun yesterday, but was unable to detect the space station, altho I had a fairly good view of the solar disk. Perhaps next time I'll have to use higher power (higher than 54x) or darker filter and look at a careful trace of the transit to locate its path more exactly. Is there software that does that (I can always revert to graph paper if necessary)? Or maybe Mir was reboosted and I'll get notice of that in the Monday morning elsets from OIG?