priroda obs 4/26
Fri, 26 Apr 96 15:05:39

 Caught another view of the Priroda module last night on a very
favorable (overhead!) pass.  At 0338 UT April 26 (Quicksat output
given below) Mir disappeared overhead, reaching magnitude -1 at
brightest.  Priroda followed 2 min 48 sec later, and peaked at
magnitude +2.2 (same as Polaris).  The two objects had a
different phase angle response, with Mir brightening steadily
until it entered the earth's shadow, while Priroda had already
begun to dim slightly when it entered the shadow.  At the same
elevation (45 degrees) and roughly the same phase angle, Mir was
-0.6 and Priroda +2.2, making the module 2.8 magnitudes fainter
than Mir.  I presume the two were at nearly the same altitude,
since the orbital periods are only about 30 seconds different.
 It is indeed rare to catch these Russian rendezvous from this
side of the globe.
 The Quicksat output:
 Apr 26  Fri   UT   241 1117
 3 38 45  .2 54 305    0 -1.5  11 7  249  72  303  736 50.9 Mir
 cheers, Rich (