A bright tumbling satellite!

From: Tom Wagner (sciteach@mchsi.com)
Date: Sat Jun 22 2002 - 00:33:54 EDT

Hi all,

I just watched a high pass of the NOSS 2-2 trio from my backyard at
42.473513 N by -92.360413 W. As Ed said shared in a previous post, the
"outlier" of that bunch was the brightest of the three. The glare of the
moon prevented  me from seeing any of them w/o binoculars however. The trio
filled at least half of the field of view of my 7x35mm binoculars.

Just before it was about to pass Dubhe in Ursa Major at about 22:55:15 I saw
a fast and faint satellite move northward in the opposite direction of NOSS
but very close to its same path. That was not particularly remarkable but
what was is this. When the NOSS trio was almost directly overhead, I looked
away at my watch then when I looked back, in Hercules near my zenith at
about 22:59, I spotted what I believe was a tumbling satellite that was
quite a sight to see to say the least! It was proceeding south and passed
west of the moon by a few degrees. It was easily naked eye visible even when
I was looking directly toward the moon in light polluted skies. I suppose it
reached 1st magnitude and almost disappeared between flashes. The frequency
of flashes was around two per second.

Can anyone tell me what this bright flasher was? I would like to see it

[By the way, the mosquitoes are definitely out!]



P.S. Thanks Louis for the tip on the high pass of NOSS 2-2 CDE! It was
finally clear here. First time in days.

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