Observed Shenzhou 7 and rocket

From: Ted Molczan (ssl3molcz@rogers.com)
Date: Fri Sep 26 2008 - 01:48:46 UTC

  • Next message: Ted Molczan: "RE: Shenzhou-7 visual in Duluth, Minn."

    I observed both objects on the same pass, on 2008 Sep 25 near 23:40 UTC. 
    
    Conditions were difficult due to thick cirrus cloud and bright twilight. I tried
    spotting my mag 2 and 3 reference stars with 7x50 binoculars and the unaided
    eye, to no avail. 
    
    I had about given up when I spotted the rocket (08047B / 33387) with the unaided
    eye. It was about 45 deg above the south-eastern horizon, and I observed it for
    about 1.5 minutes. During that time it briefly disappeared a couple of times in
    thick cloud, but I am confident that I also saw a regular variation due to
    rotation, with a period of perhaps 30 s. Maxima were mag 0 or 1 (difficult to
    judge without the benefit of reference stars); minima were invisible, but some
    of that probably was due to the cloud.
    
    Shenzhou 7 (08047A / 33386) followed several minutes later, on a similar path.
    My guess is that it was mag 2 or 3 when about 30 to 40 deg above the eastern
    horizon. I observed it for about one minute, with the unaided eye only.
    
    Ted Molczan
    
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