MIR + Progress + something strange...

Kurt Jonckheere (kjonckheere@unicall.be)
Thu, 7 Aug 1997 00:56:02 +0200

Around 21h04 UT I saw MIR, followed by Progress M 35 in about 
7.5 +- 0.3 seconds.  MIR was magnitude -1, Progress around +3.

Till 21h40 UT I focussed on the same path to see some of the
Soyuz objects, but did not succeeded (because of clouds ?).  
Although at 21h19m47s I saw an orange-coloured object 
rising fast in the West (elevation of 25 degr, when I first noticed it),
going to the zenith.  Its magnitude increased to -3 and near the 
zenith some (about ten) yellow-orange pieces fell off the object.

Just after the zenith (elevation of 80 degrees) it faded away.
It took about 2 to 3 seconds to go from elevation +25  to the zenith.
It went from about (alfa 13h50, delta +21) to (alfa 17h40, delta +46).

Was this a meteor or a decay ??

I think magnitude -3 is not bright enough for an object like 97- 22 B
(SL-6) or a Soyuz rocket.  Also the latest elements from Alan seem 
to exclude this possibility.

Maybe it was another Mir debris ?

Somebody has an idea ?


Kurt Jonckheere (kjonckheere@unicall.be)