Re: Interesting observation

From: David W. Bishop <>
Date: Mon, 1 May 1995 08:57:01 -0400

> David Bishop wrote in seesat/337 :
> >As twilight was just ending I noticed a small white cloud which was going
> >south to north, not west to east like all the other ones. I whipped out
> >my binoculars looked at it and saw a rapidly rotating satellite in the
> >middle of it.
> >The "cloud" and the satellite were definitely associated with one another.
> >I track it down to two possible candidates, both of which
> >were spend Cosmos boosters.
> In the meantime it would be interesting to hear some more details of your
> observation, Dave. Do you remember when you saw this object and which one
> it was? If some of our positional sleuths can identify the object in the
> original message, that would be very interesting too!

I had to go back three notebooks to find this observation. That was
over 250 unique satellite observations ago, not to mention about 500
galaxies and 15 comets.

Here are my notes from that evening:

Something strange. At ~10:06 EDT I noticed a cloud due east. This
was odd as that part of th sky was cloudless. I put my binoculars on
it and notice a fairly bright (mag 3) satellite in the center of it.
As the satellite moved across the sky, so did the cloud. I picked
it up at an elevation of ~40 deg at Az 90, and followed it to Az 30.
Added Later: Cosmos 2100 r?

>From my own memory: The cloud was not even, there were portions of it
which were brighter and some darker. The satellite was in the center and
the densest part of the cloud. The cloud was denser to the upper left of
the satellite and less dense to the lower right. Rotation period was
about 2.5 / second (with a wide margin for error as I didn't time it).
It was about 10 degrees up when I lost it in the trees.

This also brings up another good question, "How should you document your

The way I document mine is as follows:

3/25/95 seeing conditions good
7:13:50 350-50-100 30 2.5 Cosmos 2293 (23336 94072A)
 (time) (start-mid-end) (max el) (max mag) (name, NORAD#, International id)
With the line after it dedicated to any comments, or a flash period.

If the satellite is an unknown, I record the following:

Time1, az el mag, time2, az el mag, time3 az el mag UNKNOWN
where time2 is where it maxes out. I also will sometimes use RA and DEC
if it happens to pass very close to a convenient star.

                            David Bishop

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Received on Mon May 01 1995 - 09:35:15 UTC

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