Thanks to Zane for quickly identifying it!
It was awesome and the best "display" by a satellite/rocket I've ever seen - and that's saying something considering I've seen (naked-eye) the ISS, the Space Shuttle, Geostationary satellites, and even a piece of space debris burn-up as it "slowly" went by. So way to go Eddgie for taking a picture of it because it was like watching the total solar eclipse of 2017 all over again - way too much visual beauty to take in in such a short time! I was mesmerized by seeing it slowing rotating.
I had been observing in Cygnus and Vulpecula for an hour with my telescope when I happened to look away from the eyepiece and at Cygnus. I wear glasses, but not when looking through the telescope. So normally all the brighter stars look quite de-focused when I look at the sky without them. But I could immediately tell that there was another de-focused star E of Deneb of about the same brightness. I put my glasses back on and much to my surprise, all the stars focused but it!
My first thought was: This must be what the LMC looks like from Chile!!! Then I stepped inside the House and got my family to all come out and look at it. The time was 7:42pm CST. It stayed naked-eye for about 15 minutes, so my guess is that when I first saw it, it hadn't been naked-eye for more than 10 minutes. At nearly 7pm, it seems the GPS III Space Vehicle 04 was separated from the second stage. So my best guess is that after doing its job, it vented fuel to slow it down so as to de-orbit and safely burn up someday? Here is a link to a document that tries to cover the other such sightings that have been made like this.YOU ALL SHOULD READ IT!
I saw it in far eastern Cygnus near the border with Lacerta. It was moving ENE at about a degree every 1.5 minutes and appearing to rotate once every 30 seconds - though I do thank Creedence for noting (something I missed) that it was rotating in the y axis and spinning in the x axis. In my 8x56 binoculars is was about 4 degrees across when at its brightest and largest. It appeared distinctly bluish. I observed it with two binoculars and my 5" f/5 (2 degree field) and 10" f/10 (1 degree field).
I'm just so glad I got to see it. I work hard to go out as often as I can and always hope I'll see something jaw dropping and unexplainable if I'm lucky.
Edited by SNH, 06 November 2020 - 04:55 PM.