Re: unid flare (and some obs from Tx)

Mike McCants (
Mon, 1 Mar 1999 10:43:16 -0600 (CST)

>Russell Eberst pointed out to me:
>  "You have to be very careful with reports like the above. Tyler gives
> (20491/90013D) as MOS 1-B.  It is in fact MOS 1-B ROCKET.  As such, it
> does not have the large panel you refer to, and is therefore unlikely
> to flare."
>I hadn't matched the ID against the name so if the rocket is the object,
>then that panel is not there. Thanks Russell.
>> >Tyler MacKenzie wrote:
>> >>  I saw a flare from out side my Sackville apartment tonight while
>> >> setting up my telescope.
>> > I have tentatively got it as MOS 1-B (20491/90013D), but it was
>> >> supposed to be nearly 9th mag.  What would make this sat flare by 9+ mag's?
>> >> Is it something else?
>> >
>> >MOS has been known to flare in the past. It does have a large panel that
>> >is probably the source of the flares.

Since the observer has mismatched the name and the catalog number/designation,
it makes sense to run a prediction to see what was passing in that part
of the sky at that time.

Although Landsat 4 was going down in that part of the sky, MOS 1-B was
passing much more "horizontally" at the same time.  This matches his
observation better, so I believe that his identification is correct.

1 20478U 90013A   99056.24237707 -.00000043 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 02200
2 20478 099.0146 123.7681 0006266 085.2021 274.9857 13.94032020381512


On Saturday night, Ed Cannon and I saw a flare to magnitude 0 or so
from Geosat FO:

Geosat FO
1 25157U 98007A   99056.12153767 -.00000442 +00000-0 -11570-3 0 01334
2 25157 108.0592 085.6869 0002618 260.5067 099.5773 14.31510785054264

This occurred high in the northwest after culmination passage going
south to north in this retrograde orbit.  The magnitude before the
flare was about 5 and the magnitude after the flare was 7 and fading.
The flare lasted about 20 seconds from magnitude 4 to flare and back
to magnitude 4 again.

On both Saturday and Sunday night, Yuri 3A was observed to have 2 bright
flashes followed by a faint flash.  The timing between the faint flash
and the first flash and between the first flash and the second seemed to
be about the same 87.7 seconds.  The timing between the second flash and
the faint flash seemed to be about 88.1 seconds.  There was often a faint
flash after the second bright flash and its time after the first bright
flash would have been about 88.1 as well.  Perhaps the faint flash
is a result of the solar reflection from a panel onto the body of the

Yuri 3A
1 20771U 90077A   99054.87088900  .00000018  00000-0  10000-3 0  2904
2 20771   0.7404 139.4829 0007025 324.3259 256.2222  0.98807840 37018

On Sunday night it flashed once within 1/10 degree of the Trapezium.
That would have made an interesting picture - a "nova" discovered
in the Orion Nebula under a full moon.  :-)

The DSP was observed to be flashing from about 3:52UT (3/1/99) until
about 4:14UT with maximum flashes about 4:07UT that were easily seen
in the 12x80 finder scope at about magnitude 7.

1 98001U          99055.13914366  .00000000  00000-0  00000+0 0    01
2 98001   4.3200  58.4266 0012000  85.6064 274.3935  1.00274000    09

On Saturday night, unaided eye flashes were seen from Raduga 33 at
a range of 10000 miles low in the northeast not far from the nearly
full moon.

Mike McCants
Austin, Tx