Re: unusual satellite seen

From: Bart De Pontieu <BDP_at_MPE.MPE-GARCHING.MPG.DE>
Date: Fri, 28 Apr 1995 16:27:52 -0400

David Bishop wrote in seesat/337 :

>As twilight was just ending I noticed a small white cloud which was going
>south to north, not west to east like all the other ones. I whipped out
>my binoculars looked at it and saw a rapidly rotating satellite in the
>middle of it.
>The "cloud" and the satellite were definitely associated with one another.
>I track it down to two possible candidates, both of which
>were spend Cosmos boosters.

This is interesting, since the general suspicion is that most flashing
satellites that are 'accelerating' (i.e. have flash periods that become
shorter with time) are undergoing a fuel leak. Kurt Jonckheere did some
research into this, by looking at flash period curves of such objects and
correlating them to plots of certain orbital elements. He found correlations
between the time of an 'acceleration' and a significant change in the
mean motion. This work was presented last year in Belgium at Eurosom
(European Satellite Observer's Meeting) and will appear in the proceedings
of that meeting (if they ever get finished ;-).

In the meantime it would be interesting to hear some more details of your
observation, Dave. Do you remember when you saw this object and which one
it was? If some of our positional sleuths can identify the object in the
original message, that would be very interesting too!

Received on Fri Apr 28 1995 - 16:10:43 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0 : Fri Mar 07 2014 - 00:14:10 UTC