Re: Identify Flare Sat.

Mir16609@aol.com
Thu, 21 Jan 1999 00:24:16 EST

In a message dated 1/20/99 11:18:33 PM Eastern Standard Time,
spacenaut@jaycom.net.au writes:

> Last evening Jan 20 at 9:33pm local (10:33UT) while show about 100
>  people the evening sky & while watching an ISS pass through the NE at
>  about 20deg elevation at satellite rising in the NE flared for about
>  10secs at mag. -3, covering about 25deg of sky (& more at fainter mags.)
>  then completely disappeared just like an Iridium Sat., though the orbit
>  was somewhat off a N-S Iridium as would have set in SW on projected
>  course. The GSOC site data I had only had one flare for 11:32pm
>  (12:32UT) for Iri 8. Could anyone identify this flare producing
>  satellite for me please. 

I'll take a shot.

There seem to be 2 possibilities: Iridium 6 (24794) and Geo IK r/b (23412).
Although Iridium 6 is listed as operational and a flare was not predicted,
there are reflective surfaces on the Iridium satellites that will, at times,
produce unexpectedflares.  Geo IK r/b is not listed as a flashing object 
(ref: 94- 78 B at http://www2.satellite.eu.org/ppas/ppas7.html)  
Both objects were rising in the NE at 21:33 your local time on 1/20.

Cosmos 1269 was in the area too but at 21:33 it was 40 deg above the horizon
and further to the North - passing through Orion.

Cheers.
Don Gardner
Homepage: http://hometown.aol.com/mir16609
39.1796 N,  76.8419 W, 34m ASL