posted on Dec, 2 2008 @ 09:10 PM
Nice one Easynow! Good find my friend. That Skylab III "anomaly" is one that is pretty glaring, what with the photographic evidence and the
confirmation from the astronauts themselves. It is interesting how that case is not cited more often, as it truly is one that should raise
Typically, judging relative distance/size of an unknown object by visual/photographic means alone is very difficult in space, but thanks to imagery
and the terminator crossover time variances between Skylab and the object being known (counted off like "one-one thousand, two-one-thousand,
three-one thousand..." according to astronaut Garriott), the estimations of size do seem to have validity. Here is some other evidence related to
this incident that I have cataloged.
Radio Conversation (transcript only) with Houston CapCom about 4.5 hours after the sighting of this object.
(NOTE: Astronaut Owen does NOT respond to this question, and the topic of conversation abruptly changes. There is no information available
regarding whether or not this sighting was brought to the attention of Mission Control prior to this radio contact 4.5 hours after the event).
LOUSMA: "Did you tell him about that satellite we saw?
BEAN: Yes, we saw a great satellite. We didn't know if we told you about it.
LOUSMA: The closest and brightest one we've seen.
BEAN: Huge one.
LOUSMA: We've seen several. It was a red one.
CAPCOM: No, you may have told somebody, but it wasn't this team. I don't remember hearing about it.
LOUSMA: I guess we didn't report it. It was reflecting in red light and oscillating at, oh, counting it's period of brightest to dimmest, about
ten seconds. It led us into sunset. That was about three revs ago, I think. Something like that, wasn't it Owen?
Conversation during post-flight debrief, from “Skylab III Technical Crew Debriefing” (NASA doc JSC-08478)
GARRIOTT: Do you want to talk about that satellite?
LOUSMA: I saw a couple of satellites that appeared like a satellite would on earth. I saw one that was not like one you would see on earth, so why
don't you mention it?
GARRIOTT: OK. About a week or 10 days before recovery and we were still waiting for information to be supplied to us about the identification. Jack
first notices this rather large red star out the wardroom _ Upon close examination, it was much brighter than Jupiter or any of the other
planets. It had a reddish hue to it, even though it was well above the horizon. The light from the Sun was not passing close to the Earth's limb at
the time. We observed it for about 10 minutes prior to sunset. It was slowly rotating because it had a variation in brightness with a 10-seconds
period. As I was saying, we observed it for about 10 minutes, until we went into darkness, and it also followed us into darkness about 5-seconds
later. From the 5 to 10 second delay in it's disappearance we surmised that it was not more than 30 to 50 nautical miles [35 to 58 statute miles or
56 to 93 km] from our location. From its original position in the wardroom window, it did not move more than 10 or 20 degrees over the 10 minutes or
so that we watched it. Its orbit was very close to that of our own. We never saw it on any earlier or succeeding orbits and we'd be quite interested
in having its identification established.”
Note also that page 49 of the “SkyLab III Photographic Index and Scene Identification”
document identifies this object as being a
“Satellite - unmanned”
I am sure I have all four images in question (SL3-118-2138 through to 2141) on my other hard-drive and I will dig around for them, although I am
pretty certain that frames 2140 and 2141 (the images Easynow shows above) are the best of the four. Again, great job pointing this incident out bro!
It is definitely one that has never been explained.
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[edit on 12/7/2008 by Badge01]