VERY fast satellite

From: Edward S Light (
Date: Mon Mar 26 2001 - 17:40:10 PST

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    We just saw an incredibly fast pass of 00-040C = 26409 =
    "GPS @R-4 Delta 2 r2".  Alerted by our daily highfly predictions
    of brighter near-perigee passes, we saw this objects zip by
    Betelgeuse and Procyon (the latter at about 00:07.7 UTC on
    27 March); it was about magnitude 3 - 3-1/2 and may have
    been varying slightly.
    This object has approximate perigee/apogee heights of 177 and
    16100 km and when we saw it it was just about 181 km above the
    ground and 217 km away from us; at its speed of some 9.7 km/s
    it REALLY flashed by!  Before this, the apparently fastest
    pass we saw was probably Mir a couple of weeks ago.
    (Because of severe local light pollution, we only look for
    "highfly" objects expected to be near perigee and therefore
    within range of our binoculars.  Lots of fun!)
    Clear and dark skies!
    Ed and Darlene Light
    Lakewood, New Jersey, USA
    40.1075N, 074.2312W, +24m (80 feet)
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    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Mon Mar 26 2001 - 17:44:08 PST