Re: possible decay obs of 97-38C ?

Kurt Jonckheere (
Thu, 7 Aug 1997 19:49:32 +0200

Yesterday evening I wrote :

>Although at 21h19m47s (Aug 6, 1997) 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).
>observed at : 51 degr, 11 min N, 4 degr, 31 min E, 5m ASL

This object was also observed by Koen Geukens as mentioned by Tristan:
>>A friend of another mailing list was posting a possible re-entry obs of a
>>unknown object.  He saw a bright moving object with tail passing close to
>>Arcturus and continueing its path from West to East before exploding into a
>>fireball somewhat further.

Thanks to this elset Alan posted (from OIG)
>Soyuz TM-26 deb                                  250 x 177 km
>1 24888U 97038C   97218.81652942  .05295926  12008-4  15354-2 0   153
>2 24888  51.6141 191.6300 0054853  79.0271 281.6907 16.22296083   193
>it running only 2.4 seconds early against the prediction I posted a few
>hours ago. I anticipate decay shortly before August 8.0.
I could predict it for my location to have passed over there around 21h25m,
with a path that is fitting very well with our observation. (although 5  
minutes too late).
I did not saw anything around 21h25m.

So I'm rather sure that after about 10 years of observing I finally saw
my first DECAY !  
BUT, I did NOT saw 97- 38 C, because it was still up around that time
which is acknowledged by OIG's elset of this morning (after my decay
observation) : 
1 24888U 97038C   97219.24678963  .08698103  12165-4  15600-2 0   203
2 24888  51.6098 189.2396 0040438  83.4272 276.8999 16.29030627   268

So the question about what object we saw still remains, maybe it was
another piece of debris that broke off 97-38 C (heavy speculating...) ?


Kurt Jonckheere