question - brightness of 20638 (ROSAT) + introducing myself

From: Marco Langbroek (
Date: Thu Jun 26 2003 - 05:10:28 EDT

  • Next message: Russell Eberst: "JUN25-26.OBS"

    I have a question for this list. We received a 'fireball' report for June
    24, 21:24 UTC from Alphen a/d Rijn, the Netherlands. After questioning the
    eyewitness it became apparent that the object was so slow it must have been
    a satellite. Indeed, the trajectory for satellite # 20638 (ROSAT) perfectly
    matches the observation both in time and sky trajectory.
    My question is, if anybody knows what brightness this satellite can attain
    and if it might show flares of considerable brightness. This because the
    observer states he saw it attain a magnitude of mag. -6 for a few seconds.
    Anyone available to confirm this?
    This is also a good opportunity to introduce myself. I have been silently
    'lurking' this list for a few weeks now. I am not a true active satellite
    observer. I am mainly an active meteor observer actually, and I signed up to
    the list to keep up to date with possible satellite decays. This I did,
    because everytime a slow fireball appears in the Netherlands or Belgium,
    someone in the meteor community will put forward the opinion that it was a
    satellite re-entry (which almost invariably it wasn't in the end). Instead
    of logging in to Alan Pickup's website or contacting him after such
    occasions time and time again, I thought it worthwhile to sign up to the
    list instead and be kept up to date instantly. In a short timespan of a few
    weeks I learned a lot (also through the satellite observers website, through
    which I ended up on this list) and this made my interest in sats grow.
    Apart from this, my growing interest in satellites has two other reasons. We
    of course note quite some sats during our meteor observations. And a number
    of us in the Dutch Meteor Society have come to like scouting for Iridium
    flares (over the past 3 weeks I have been trying to catch a few on photo
    flaring over nice scenic parts of Leyden, where I live).
    Well, that's enough for an introduction I guess. Some further background on
    my astronomic and other activities can be found on my website
    - Marco Langbroek
    Marco Langbroek
    "What seest thou else
     In the dark backward and abysm of time?"
                                William Shakespeare
                                The Tempest act I scene 2
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