UnID and Mir Solar transit

From: Walter Nissen <dk058_at_cleveland.Freenet.Edu>
Date: Sat, 13 May 1995 11:28:34 -0400
Last evening, I looked for

Orbcomm 1        1.0  0.0  0.0  8.4
1 23545U 95017A   95123.80154040 -.00000503  00000-0 -12667-3 0   236
2 23545  69.9738  42.3009 0012134  37.8916 322.3056 14.45030775  4366

as it was supposed to pass near delta Leo at 950513 022918.  (I suppose
that it is a radio dot and that I was thus on a fool's errand, but never
mind that).  My location is approximately -81.86371, +41.37355, 256m.  My
attention was quickly caught by a bright object moving roughly in the
other direction.  As the UnID moved out of my 10 degree field of view, I
briefly persisted after Orbcomm, but eventually gave up on locating
Orbcomm 1 and began to follow the UnID.  Since it was so bright, I assumed
I would easily be able to identify it and foolishly gave little attention
to getting data for it.  As it steadily brightened I followed it by naked
eye, and when it was near the bowl of the Big Dipper it was about a
magnitude brighter than the stars of the Dipper, thus about mag 1.  I did
squeeze off a rough timing of its appulse within a few degrees of Merak
(beta UMa) at about 950513 023038.  After it passed the bowl, it dimmed
significantly.  No object in my file of 1000 bright LEOs exceeded mag 8.5
and had a path anywhere near what I describe, according to my reading of
QuickSat output.

Query:  Could this UnID have been a southern hemisphere Molniya?  (Is
there any such thing?)

I guess maybe I'll hope Ted Molczan's file has something new this weekend,
or that one of you with a large file of elsets and good software will be
interested enough to try to track this one down.

On another subject, with Bjoern Gimle's help, I was able to locate an
opportunity to view a transit of Mir across the Sun yesterday, but was
unable to detect the space station, altho I had a fairly good view of the
solar disk.  Perhaps next time I'll have to use higher power (higher than
54x) or darker filter and look at a careful trace of the transit to locate
its path more exactly.  Is there software that does that (I can always
revert to graph paper if necessary)?  Or maybe Mir was reboosted and I'll
get notice of that in the Monday morning elsets from OIG?


Received on Sat May 13 1995 - 11:39:34 UTC

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