Re: Slow Moving Object, Mag 1: Nimbus 5 r?

Brian Hunter (bkh@chem.QueensU.CA)
Fri, 29 Aug 1997 12:25:59 -0400

I don't have my records with me but I have observed this rocket stage on
one occasion as an easy naked eye object.  It was a very similar pass to
the one you describe.  The reason I remeber it is that it is on my list of
objects to keep an eye on and it is usually about 5th to 6th magnitude. 
I'll go back and check my log book for more detail.

> From: Robert Sheaffer <>
> To:
> Subject: Slow Moving Object, Mag 1: Nimbus 5 r?
> Date: Friday, August 29, 1997 11:25 AM
> Observation 28 Aug. 1997    (Thurs. Eve, Aug 29 UT)
> At  04:25 UT, observed a very bright and extremely slow-moving object
> moving north from Aquila and Sagitta into central Cygnus, Mag 1. At first
> glance I thought it was Altair because it seemed to be bright and
> stationary, however it was in the wrong place. Its motion was much,
> much slower than we see in Mir or other satellites in low orbit.
> It was bright for at least 30-60 seconds, then quickly faded
> as it moved into Cygnus. I was unable to find it in binoculars 
> afterward.
> I thought that perhaps it was one of the now-famous Iridium
> flares, but the only object in Molczan's list that matches well
> is #6306, Nimbus 5 rocket, with a predicted magnitude of 6.6.
> The object was a few degrees east of Sagitta at about 04:25:20.
> Does this sound like a correct identification?
>         Robert Sheaffer - - Skeptical to the Max!
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