Two apparent satellites narrowly missing each other?
I am from Kimberley, South Africa.
Last night we were having a braai. Watching the clear skies with no clouds at about 21:00, I saw two objects, the same appearance, brightness and size as small stars, moving towards each other (looking horizontally) about 50 degrees up in the sky looking South East. They approached each other at the speed I usually see the International Space Station moving across the sky. It seemed as if they were on a collision course but when they were close to each other they seemed to twirl around each other and then they were on their respective ways again!
What could this be?
I watched them for another while as they carried on in their respective paths.
Joe Wolhuter, Market Researcher, Kimberley, South Africa
Report back, Greg Roberts:
Both were Russian satellites in 82 degree inclination orbits, so moving s/n and n/s in this case. They crossed at 20h58m21s SAST and identities are METEOR 3-3 ( a meteorological satellite) and Cosmos 1448 do not know specific purpose as most Russian satellites are simply called COSMOS and given a sequential number.. Ill do a search shortly to find out more details. They were actually quite a distance apart in height – by about 246 km so a good “miss”
Cosmos 1448 was one of 6 members forming a navigation system – early GPS but much lower orbits. Used to transmit on 150 and 400 Mhz – gave a nice signal with obvious second pulses.