March 22nd, 2012

phineas

A Cool Thing...

I think I saw a satellite Tuesday evening.
I was sitting on my patio about 8:40 looking up and saw something moving
fairly slowly directly over head. It was heading E NE and was very high up.
It did not look at all like a jet.
It did not twinkle.
It took about a minute and a half from when I noticed it coming from behind
the house and when I lost it in the trees.

I dropped an email to whl who follows these things.
He replied

"So around 8:40, with good elevation. I show a satellite going from the south
west to the north east, that gets around 83 degrees above the horizon, at
8:39:30 pm, on March 20th.

That would be Lacrosse 5; a large radar spysat, launched in April of 2005,
from Cape Canaveral. One artist guess as to what it looks like is this:
http://www.globalsecurity.org/space/systems/images/lacrosse1.jpg
The Lacrosse has a lot of surfaces to catch the light, and would be at least as bright as
Dubhe, the upper corner (away from the handle) of the big dipper, and possibly
brighter in some orientations. "

I love having friends that are resources.

GHR
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