Far away but flashing brightly

From: Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Date: Fri Apr 15 2005 - 04:41:05 EDT

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    Monday evening I was following NOSS 3-2 Rk (03-054B, 28096) 
    in the northwest when there was a flash above it in the 
    field of view.  Soon there were more flashes.  The unid
    object was moving VERY slowly.  The brightest flashes were 
    visible without binoculars; it was such a beautiful 
    evening that might have been +4.0 magnitude.  Its flash 
    period was around 11 seconds but kind of irregular 
    according to my clicks.  In a little while it rapidly grew 
    too faint to see.  We assumed it was a Molniya.  Next day 
    correspondence and my Highfly magnitude file seemed to 
    indicate pretty strongly that it was a Glonass: Cosmos 1651 
    (85-037B, 15698).  Its range when observed was just a bit 
    less than 20,000 km.  In the magnitude file was this note: 
    "p=11 20912 GR" -- Greg Roberts reported it as very 
    impressive on 12 Sept 2002:
    I'm not sending a PPAS report because I think that we didn't 
    get a rock-solid ID, but I'm pretty sure that it was that 
    Mike and Fred and I were all at the usual site that evening,
    30.315N, 97.866W, 280m.
    Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas, USA
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