Two flashing geosynchs in one field

Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Fri, 17 Apr 1998 19:12:53 -0400

I believe that tonight (18 April 1998 UTC) Superbird A and the 
unidentified geosynch (called "Unknown" in the elsets below, the 
most recent that I have) may be visible in the same telescope field 
for at least some folks in the USA.  Mike McCants and I observed 
both of them last night, but unfortunately, it's cloudy here tonight.  
I saw one easy one-power flash from Superbird A sometime between 3:56 
and 3:57 UTC (April 17), plus a few more in binoculars and telescope.

Gorizont 14 should be well-placed for the USA tonight for those who 
have the clear sky and patience to look for it.  Mike and I looked 
for it last night for a little while without success.  Does anyone 
know how phase-dependent its flashes are (i.e., how long per night 
it flashes brightly)?

I want to mention that without Mike's telescope and expertise, I 
would have a much more difficult time seeing Superbird A and similar 
objects.  Most of the time, all I do is look at objects he's already 
located.  On my own I just do one-power, plus hand-held 10x50 
binoculars if I'm at a good site.  One of these days, maybe I'll get 
my own telescope....

Last night we also saw a nice Mir pass, a very good HST Array pass
(one-power flashes!), a -3 flare from Iridium 30 and a very good 
show from Iridium 27 (negative magnitude flashes from two different 
parts of its pass, plus easy and fun to follow with binoculars for 
most of the rest)!  

Ed C.
ecannon@mail.utexas.edu
Austin, Texas, USA

GORIZONT 14
1 17969U 87040A   98103.69261411 -.00000131 +00000-0 +00000-0 0 06063
2 17969 009.6067 044.8988 0026341 303.7000 055.9996 00.97658057019350
SUPERBIRD A
1 20040U 89041A   98104.97926818 +.00000108 +00000-0 +10000-3 0 09959
2 20040 005.7550 057.8137 0001179 091.8571 268.1307 00.99745434031826
Unknown
1 98001U          98092.03965033  .00000000  00000-0  00000+0 0    07
2 98001   3.8800  59.9469 0001000  78.1064 281.8936  1.00285000    01