Re: Does anything else flare like an Iridium?

Sean Sullivan (
Tue, 30 Dec 1997 01:51:10 -0500 (EST)

I suspect that you saw one or two of the NOSS 2-1 triplet.  I ran predictions
for your position, and found two possible matches (NOSS 2-1 and Cosmos 198).
At 0532 UTC, the Molczan elements have one of the NOSS satellites at 
elevation 15 deg, azimuth 56; at 0533, we have el=11 az=61.  Since this is
one of the classified satellites, one would expect a little variation from
the prediction (and it looks pretty good anyway).  If it was NOSS, your
numbers look really superb given the conditions of the observation.

The other candidate was Cosmos 198.  It was at virtually the same place in
the sky, but I am inclined to go with NOSS 2-1 since those spacecraft are
known to flare.  

-- Sean Sullivan

On Mon, 29 Dec 1997, Nick Budd wrote:

> Flying across the Atlantic the other day, I saw two "flares". So convinced
> was I that
> they were Iridiums that I just made a mental note to check which two they
> were.
> However, when I came to run the prediction programs, I could not find any
> candidates
> to fit the criteria. Could it have been anything else? The details are as
> follows:
> Viewing location: 51.50N  42.67W
> Date: 28 Dec 1997
> Time: 0532UTC
> Altitude: 36,000 ft
> Elevation: approx 10
> Azimuth: approx 060
> Both flared to a mag of approx -5 within ten seconds of each other and
> lasted 8-10 secs.
> Nick