Close [visual] encounter

Ralph McConahy (
16 Apr 1998 09:18:57 -0700

   Last night (4/16 UT) I observed two 1x objects virtually "touch" one 
   Cosmos 1943 r (19120, 8839B) was moving north-to-south and Resurs 1-3 r 
   (23343, 94-74B) was moving south-to-north. At about 38 degrees above the 
   horizon, in the east, at 034410 UT (+/- 2s) they passed each other within 
   what must have been less than a quarter of a degree. (I later calculated 
   that in 3-D space Cos 1943r was about 210 km closer to my observation point 
   than Res 1-3r was). The sun-satellite-observer angle was 27 degrees and the 
   sky was clear and dark making both objects nice and bright.
   I've see other visual close encounters through binoculars but never with 
   two 1x objects. Watching them approach one another from opposite directions 
   at nearly parallel lines was quite a sight!
     Ralph McConahy
     34.8829N  117.0064W  670m