bion m1 rocket

From: Tristan Cools (
Date: Sun Apr 21 2013 - 22:36:56 UTC

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    Tonight I tried to observe the Bion M1 satellite(2013-15A/39130?) but did
    not see it.  Instead, with one day old elements from Space Track, I saw a
    variable object moving through UMA only a few degrees of track compared to
    the predicted track of the Bion satellite.  I identified it as
    Predicted time of Bion was 21:03UTC in UMA.  The observed object passed at
    It was tumbling with a period of about 3s with flat maxima and a maximum
    brightness of about mag +2.  I presume this is the third stage Soyuz rocket
    which was passing at an altitude of about 340km as the other
    objects(39131-39136) are smaller satellites still to be tracked in orbit(I
    Bion M1 probably manoevred or was not as bright as the rocket.
    Nevertheless, I am still surprised I did not see it.
    Tristan Cools
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