USA 86,129 and Globalstar

Bjoern Gimle (b_gimle@algonet.se)
Mon, 27 Apr 1998 20:02:43 +0200

On Apr.25 we had an essentially clear day again, and I was able to observe
two KH's and five Globalstar objects. USA 129 was timed 
20:37:06.1   RA 06h 57.2m   Decl.+10d 30m
20:37:15.0      06  42.4         +12  59

While waiting for the Globalstar rocket (E) and USA 86 in Leo, a bright
object rose vertically, later identified as Meteor 1-9 rocket #05328 at
89 degrees culmination. Globalstar E culminated at 53 degrees in the S,
and was about mag.+4 steady. I spotted USA 86 at
20:46:13.6      11  13.3         +13  34

but when looking back twenty seconds later to memorize the star field,
I saw an object with confusing brightness, speed and path. It was trailing
by about 8 degrees, a little lower, but slightly faster, so although
distance increased to culmination, they were soon after in the same
field of view (7 deg). I later identified the second one (which did not
fade as much as USA 86) as ERS-2 (#23560).

At 20:57 the Globalstar D, C, B, A objects appeared, passing delta Leo
at relative times 0, 11, 14 and 30.5 seconds, spanning a total of 8 degrees
at 50 deg. culmination. Beautiful sight, magnitude +6 approximately !


 

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