USA 32 conjunction w/Cosmos 2228

Matson, Robert (
Tue, 30 Mar 1999 12:07:41 -0800

I had a nice unexpected conjunction between Cosmos 2228 and USA 32
Monday night (29 March) from Belmont Shore, CA.  I was tracking USA 32
as it approached a conjunction with Regulus in the southeast, when I
noticed a second satellite on an apparent intercept course, catching up
from behind.  The two passed within about a degree of each other at
19:14:00 PST (30 March 3:14:00 UT).  To add to the confusion, Cosmos
2228 was flashing, and just as I was about to grab my stop watch and
time it, USA 32 started "sparkling" like crazy.  I noted the time that
the USA-32 sparkling started -- about 3:14:15 (Pi o'clock?), which
was about 35 seconds prior to culmination in the east.

With the two satellites flashing out of sync back and forth, it was like
they were talking to one another, or taking flash pictures of each
other!  --Rob