RE: New Bright Unid (This mail is UNCLASSIFIED)

Ted Molczan (
Thu, 17 Jun 1999 11:10:44 -0400

David Brierley wrote:

> I have computed the following precise orbit.  Can someone
> please turn it
> into NORAD form?
> 9909901 99167.90066188 0.00000000
>   63.4395  65.9713 0.0234713 291.3036  67.5185  9.69752369

Nice find!

Here it is. I have chosen 99099 as the catalogue number, because it is
similar to your ID, thus easy to remember.

99099A          15.0  4.0  0.0  3.4 v
1 99099U 99099  A 99167.90066188  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0    05
2 99099  63.4395  65.9713 0234713 291.3036  67.5185  9.69752369    01

The standard magnitude (1000 km, half-phase), is based on your comment that
the object reached mag 5.8, and the assumption that it did so at the most
favourable point in the pass. No doubt, the value will change as more
detailed data appear.

Clearly, this object is large. Obviously, the 15 x 4 m dimensions I have
provided are guesses, like the ones I have used in the past, for large
shuttle payloads or Titan IV payloads/rocket bodies. I can think of several
such launches that could have orbited large objects into about a 60-65 deg
inclination. The above dimensions would have produced a std mag of 4.2, not
too far off the 3.4 estimated from your obs.

By the way, I have now heard from Pierre Neirinck and Peter Wakelin that the
object is slowly varying in brightness, which adds to the puzzle of what
this might be.

Ted Molczan