Superbird A

29 Apr 1998 15:29:54 -0800

Regarding Superbird A, Jim Varney wrote:

> I'm in Northern California about 400 miles to the north.  The show =
> about 4 minutes earlier (4:03) and I saw it start flashing *below* =
> Mon and watched it drift past and above the star.  Interesting how a =
> hundred miles on the ground can make an observable difference for an
> object at GEO heights.

Yes -- I compared tracks for our two locations -- the track shifts =
to the south (of course) when I switch to your northern location.  And =
the flashes are walking across the western U.S. from NW to SE, you see
the flashes 2 1/2 minutes earlier than I do (which shifts your flashes to
the west in the sky).

Here are a few scattered times for tonite's flashes for those interested:

Wednesday evening, April 29th
San Fran - 9:07pm PDT
Santa Barbara - 9:09pm PDT
Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City - 9:10pm PDT
Denver, Colorado Springs - 10:11:30 PDT
Phoenix - 10:12pm MDT
Albuquerque - 10:13pm MDT
Dallas/Ft. Worth - 10:15pm MDT
Houston - 10:16pm MDT

I'm going to try to track Superbird A's flashes as long as possible to =
up with the best possible solution for the return of flashes in South =
and Europe this summer.  The region over which flashes are visible is
shrinking, cut off to the east by low elevation, and cutoff to the west =
twilight.  For this reason Hawaii misses out (except in strong twilight),
though some south Pacific islands could continue to "carry the torch" for
us.  There will also be a very brief window, perhaps a week or two, that
portions of Australia and New Zealand will have marginal opportunities.
I'll try to post some predictions here soon.