Observations - Knoxville, TN 4/30/07

From: Greg Williams (k4hsm@lock-net.com)
Date: Mon Apr 30 2007 - 06:31:33 EDT

  • Next message: Alberto Rango: "4641 SATOBS USA 193 30 Apr 2007."

    Saw 8 polar birds, some not appearing in the Heavens-Above list of 
    predicts.  Several were not viewable except with my binoculars as I was 
    scanning the skies looking for others I had seen.
    At one point (5:38 Eastern, 0938Z) I saw 3 in almost the same spot, 2 
    going S-N, the other N-S, at about a 10 degree orbit.
    I'm wondering if perhaps I saw some Fengyun debris?  Has any been 
    officially observed yet?
    0532 Eastern/0932Z - One orbting N->S - H-A says Cosmos 1455 is the 
    closest one, but it was 4 minutes earlier and at 54 deg, whereas this 
    one was overhead.  I'm going to go with UNID here.
    0538 Eastern/0938Z - The trio - I observed one going S->N and as I was 
    training my binoculars on it, I noticed it didn't look right, then 
    realized I was actually seeing another bird, lower magnitude, in nearly 
    the same orbital direction.  As I was trying to train on the brighter of 
    the two to gauge how far apart they were, the N->S bird came into the 
    field of view of my binoculars, and as I followed it, the dimmer S->N 
    came in to view.  H-A shows Cosmos 1437 Rocket there at about that time, 
    however, it would have been to the west of Knoxville, and all this 
    action was above me and to the east, at about 75-70 degrees.  If the 
    elements were out of date, then it was probably the brightest of the two 
    going S->N.  Cosmos 1500 Rocket shows up on H-A but I'm certain that's 
    not the one I saw, as it's altitude was almost in line with 1437 in 
    relation to my location.  1500 is coming from the NNW to SSW and this 
    was NNE to S.  The brighter of the two S->N objects also appeared to be 
    going faster, as if in a lower altitude. 
    0542 Eastern/0942Z - One orbiting S->N - H-A says Cosmos 2360 Rocket at 
    about that time
    0551 Eastern/0941Z - One orbiting S->N - H-A says Cosmos 1937 Rocket at 
    about that time
    0555 Eastern/0955Z - One orbiting S->N - very dim, only seen after I 
    looked using binoculars.  Morning sunrise pollution starting to affect 
    viewing.  H-A says Cosmos 1125 Rocket at about that time.
    0559 Eastern/0959Z - One orbiting S->N - very dim again, final scan as I 
    was wrapping up and heading back inside.  H-A says Meteor 1-14 Rocket at 
    about that time.
    Nice pleasant morning for a look out and up.  3 meteors paid a visit, 
    one leaving a trail I could view with my binoculars for about 10 seconds.
    I'm very much interested in the trio I saw, two going north, the other 
    Greg Williams
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