WOW! False -2 "star" below Mars

From: Ed Cannon (
Date: Fri Oct 17 2003 - 01:58:42 EDT

  • Next message: Ted Molczan: "TJM obs of 2003 Oct 17 UTC"

    After trying unsuccessfully to see SCD 2, when I lowered my 
    binoculars something caught my eye.  There was Mars, and 
    there was a "star" almost as bright as Mars below it, in the 
    direction of Fomalhaut, and below and right of that -2.0 
    "star" there was another one about zero magnitude!  That 
    was at about 1:15:07 Oct 17 UTC.  They were moving slowly 
    downwards, and within 10-20 seconds faded down to more 
    normal magnitudes.  They were USA 160 A and C (26907, 26905; 
    01-040C and A).  Five or so minutes earlier I had seen them 
    in the NNW with my binoculars, maybe +5 or +5.5 then.  
    The -2 one was C, and I wonder if I had looked there a 
    minute or so sooner if A might have been the brighter and 
    then faded while C brightened to what I saw.  
    I clicked when one of them (forgot which one) passed near 
    Fomalhaut, at about 1:16:36.
    Site was E. Ney Museum grounds, 30.307N, 97.727W, 150m.
    Ed Cannon - - Austin, Texas, USA
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