Re: Unexpected obs./Icos 19

Ron Dantowitz (
Mon, 8 Dec 1997 01:10:30 -0500 (EST)

Hi All-

Re: Ed's observation of Icos 19, 

>On 30 Nov 1997, at about 00:45 UTC my sister and I unexpectedly 
>observed a northbound object that reached approx. magnitude +2 for 
>about 10-15 seconds as it passed just a degree or so to the east 
>of Jupiter, after which it became invisible at one power.  At that 
>time, acc. to HomePlanet, Jupiter was alt 39, az 208, RA 21:16:33, 
>Dec. -16:46.5 (J2000?).  It appears that it was Intercosmos 19.  

FYI At high mag, Icos 19 is a very interesting object.  Although it has a
3.5 meter "size" in the Molczan # (RCS?) it is physically large, and shows
nice structure at 200x or higher... in fact, more structure than would be
expected from a 3m object... no pix, just happened by it with eye a couple
of times.

It appears to be two satellites joined by a (?) rod... perhaps magnetometer
booms or loooong antennae?  I have only observed this object a few times by
chance- each time it had a different appearance, depending on it's
orientation to the tracking scope.  Changes during a pass from synodic as
well, of course.  Appears stable, not tumbling.  At twice the distance of
Mir, it looked as LARGE as Mir- that means=big!

So it is NOT 3m long, but perhaps long/thin antennae, yielding a small RCS?
Comments from any of our lurking surveillance deities?