Re: multiple sats obs and a question

From: Dave English (
Date: Fri Apr 07 2000 - 08:56:00 PDT

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    Once I was following a satellite with my 10X50s and another satellite 
    entered my view from the side, the second satellite visually crossed the 
    path of the 1st with no discernable space between them. I could only go 
    Wow!  Both were bright. I may have posted it at the time.
         Within the last two weeks I saw two satellites at the same time. First I 
    saw a flare, watched the satellite as it crossed SSW to NSE. While it was 
    still in view, another satellilte approached from the same direction, but 
    further north noticibly, but no flare from it. I've seen double satellites 
    numerous times, I didn't know it was unusual.  Following one satellite with 
    the wide view of binoculars often leads to another satellite that may not be 
    visible by eye.
         I think the most I've seen in an hour is also 13. I don't have the software 
    downloaded so they are by chance and luck. To reach these numbers the sky 
    must be scanned with the binoculars to catch the subvisible (for my 
    conditions of 4 to 5.5 magnitude close to a big city) and being alert 1x 
    between scanning.  
         I posted on meteorobs, from the chatter here, that the Iridiums may not 
    have controlled reentry. I'm sure this was a disappointment to those 
    interested in studying electrophonic effects that they hoped to get. As Ed 
    pointed out, Aviation Week ran a story a week later saying what had been 
    talked about here. I have a question. Do some satellites have enough fuel to 
    be able to be directed to a reentry study area, or two, if interest was 
    demonstrated by scientists? If several satellites a year could be brought 
    down within study areas around the world, this could help atmospheric 
    science and other related studies.
                                                             Dave English
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