Superbird A, et al.

Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Wed, 22 Apr 1998 04:33:54 -0500

I finally succeeded at something I had kind of hoped to do for 
some time -- observe Superbird A from outside my apartment.  
The satellite was well-placed a few degrees below Procyon and 
such that some of the awful lights around my apartment area 
were blocked.  Due to light pollution I was not able to see 
any of the flashes at one power, but I did see several in 
binoculars centered on the time period 4:04 through 4:05 UTC 
Wednesday.  The location is 30.3086N, 97.7279W, 150m.

Earlier from Mt. Bonnell I saw in binoculars a nice crossing 
of OAO 2 Rk (03598, 68-110B) and Cosmos 1674 (15944, 85-69A).  
The pass of OAO 2 Rk was easy one-power; I had switched to 
binoculars to see Cosmos 1674 and realized that OAO 2 Rk was 
heading for the same position and saw them cross.  Neat!

With binoculars I saw Cosmos 1680 Rk (16012, 85-79B) tumbling 
very nicely through four or five periods, but I did not get a 
timing as I wasn't expecting it to be flashing (due to failing 
to notice the "t" on my Quicksat printout).

Iridium 27 -- I saw two one-power flashes, one of neg. mag., 
before my first prediction point and more than two minutes 
(approx. 40-some degrees) before my culmination prediction 
(alt 19, az 272 at 3:00:12 UTC).  I failed to find it in 
binocs and didn't see any more one-power flashes after that.

Iridium 58 flared as predicted.  Several of them have done 
that (within expected variances) during the last few days.  

ASTRO-D (22521, 93-11A) had a very bright pass, considering
that frequently I can't see it (similar to EUVE).  However, I
have seen both it and EUVE flare very brightly at least a
couple of times.

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