Re: Object before MIR?
Mon, 11 Jan 1999 13:08:51 EST

In a message dated 1/11/99 6:16:57 AM Eastern Standard Time, writes:

<< Hello.  I observed MIR this morning moving through Hercules at about 5:37
 A few minutes before MIR I observed another object moving from south across
 the sky at a higher altitude.  It was fairly bright and looked to have a
 orange color.  Was it a Lacrosse satellite?
 John Kocijanski
 Monticello, NY
 41 35N
 74 30W >>

That depends on what you mean by "a few minutes".  I ran the Molczan tle's
through my new software "Satellite Hunting" and found a few likely candidates.
Working backwards, we get... (all times AM EST)

Cosmos 1346r (#13121)
5:35:34 Exiting Centaurus at 20 deg. elev. due South. and passing through
Virgo (just 'inside' Alpha Virgo, Mars and Zeta Virgo)
5:38:37 Culminating near Gamma Bootes at 75 deg. elev. 94 deg. East (approx.
Mag. 3.4) passing between Eta Draco and Gamma Ursa Minor.
5:41:38 Dimming past Mag. 5.1 just after passing very near Beta Cepheus

Cosmos 2228r (#22287)
An earlier, very similar pass.
5:17:05 20 deg elev. 168 deg. South. Passing between Virgo and Libra.
5:20:05 Culminating at 59 deg elev. very near Delta Bootes approx. Mag. 4.1
5:23:08 Dimming past Mag 5.3 near Alpha Cepheus.

Cosmos 2228 (#22286)
A minute earlier, but otherwise identical (within a degree) to its rocket.
5:16:42 20 deg elev 167 deg South
5:19:41 Culm. approx. Mag 3.8
5:22:43 20 deg elev. 21 deg. North

Other S -> N passes include... (I'll just list the Culminations to save space)
Cosmos 389 at 5:15:11 (50 deg elev) mag. 3.9
Cosmos 2219r at 5:10:19 (43 deg elev) mag 3.5
Meteor 1-18r at 5:00:40 (86 deg elev) mag 4.1

I would have loved to post (show off) the Star/Satellite plots, but my web
server is down for a week.  If you (or anyone) would like to see Windows .BMP
files for these (or other) passes, let me know directly.  When my server is
back up, I'll be sure to let everyone know where they can find screen shots
and descriptions.  For now, I'll just say Satellite Hunting will be a fully
native, WYSIWYG, Win95/NT shareware that (at the moment) generates prediction
lists and then plots them through a star field.