Lunar satellite transit

EricVondra@aol.com
Thu, 31 Jul 1997 21:09:59 -0400 (EDT)

This was a first for me: 
(31 July 97, 0830 UT, 41N/80W) While observing the crescent Moon's Earthlit
portion in my 4.5-inch reflector at 100x, I observed a satellite of about 8th
magnitude zip across it. It happened so fast, I had no time to think about
what I was seeing, but the impression was that the satellite "went behind"
the Moon, as it seemed to disappear while transiting the non-sunlit portion
of the lunar disk. The earthshine was about as bright as I've ever seen, this
being an exceptionally clear morning, and all the major maria and some other
features were visible on the non-sunlit portion. 

I ran Satspy and came up with a good match:

Meteor 2-19 (90057A, #20670)

The Moon had risen only a few degrees and was quite spectacular with its
ghostly gray earthshine. I'm wondering if I could have seen the satellite
during the transit portion had I been "lying in wait" for it, rather than
being taken by surprise.

Eric Vondra
Pittsburgh PA