Satellites Crossing in front of the Moon

From: DJ McCracken (
Date: Thu May 18 2006 - 01:16:13 EDT

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    I am new to the group and would like your assistance in identifying what I
    suppose were groups of satellites I observed crossing the full moon early
    morning on May 13, 2006.  You see all manner of things cross the moon;
    planes, birds, etc, but this experience was a first.
    I was looking at the full moon through a telescope and binocular viewer, and
    noticed what I thought was a series of satellites cross in front of the Moon
    from Lunar E to W (Mare Crisium toward Aristarchus)(Earthwise W to E). My
    observing position is in southwest Houston, W 953612, N 293512.  The
    lunar position was about (J2000) RA: 15h01m, Dec: 2056.  I believe there
    were three objects about 00:20 local time, 05:20 UT (about 10 seconds
    between them), then 3-4 objects about 05:22 UT (a single one and then two or
    three almost at the same time but offset in lunar latitude), and finally one
    object at 05:26 UT crossing near the lunar equator. They caught me by
    surprise so only glanced at my watch, and wrote down what I remembered on a
    sketch of the Moon after all had passed by.  Don't know if there were any
    before that, but had been viewing for 10 minutes or so off and on. After the
    final one passed by I watched for another 10 minutes or so but saw no more
    objects.  They were not visible before crossing the Moon or after leaving so
    were in Earth's shadow I suppose. They were all the same size (about the
    size of the head of a small straight pin) on a full moon that filled 3/4 of
    the eyepiece field of view and were perfectly round and black.  Each looked
    like the shadow of one of the moons of Jupiter as it crosses the surface or
    Mercury transiting the sun.  All the objects traveled at the same rate and
    all paths were parallel (close to and perhaps exactly lunar E-W). All were,
    however, somewhat different lunar latitude, from the Moon's equator (00:26)
    to perhaps 60 deg N lat (00:20).  I estimated the rate was about 6-7 sec to
    cross the 0.5-degree full Moon at the equator. Of course, that is at best a
    guess made after the fact. Even the number of objects at 05:20 and 05:22 UT
    were what I thought I saw and wrote down in my notes after all passed by.
    Thank you for your time and any suggestions you might have.
    DJ McCracken
    Sugar Land, Texas
    Fort Bend Astronomy Club
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