NOAA 17 bright?

From: Denis Denissenko (
Date: Fri Sep 10 2004 - 15:13:26 EDT

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    Just looked out of the window at our institute to check if there is any 
    activity from alpha-Triangulid meteor shower and saw bright (about 0 
    mag) satellite moving towards Polaris instead.  While watching it fade, 
    caught stroboscopic flares moving through Cassiopaea in almost opposite 
    direction.  Local time was 22:50 (UT+04:00).
    Identified them as 27453 NOAA 17 (02-32A) and well known tumbler 24842 
    Iridium 911.  What surprised me was the brightness of the first 
    satellite.  SkyMap predicted it to be 4.3m, while it was definitely 
    brighter than 1.0 when I caught it appearing from the roof above me.
    So was my identification correct - that is, can NOAA 17 be that bright, 
    or was it another recently launched sat?
    My window is facing azimuth 35 (NNE) almost towards Moscow center, 
    limiting magnitude is about 3.8.
    Denis (approx. 37.6 East, 55.7 North)
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