Superbird A anomaly?

From: Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Date: Thu Apr 19 2001 - 02:39:27 PDT

  • Next message: Matthew.Fawcett@eastriding.gov.uk: "STS-100 over UK"

    Last night (early April 19 UTC) we had a very nice sky!  
    
    Using binocs, I started watching just a bit late but saw 
    several flashes of Superbird A at 3:01:00 to 3:02:30.  The 
    possible anomaly I'm wondering about is that I saw more +6 
    Superbird A flashes about 20 minutes later and then again 
    about 30 minutes after the main flash period!
    
    At 3:02:46.2 there was a slow, bright flash just southeast of 
    Superbird A.  Gorizont 24 was pretty near but was not in the 
    correct location, I believe.  The best candidate seems to be 
    Chinasat 5 (Spacenet 1), which is an AS 3000 like GSTAR 1, 
    GSTAR 3, Yuri 3A, and Yuri 3B -- all known flashers.  I 
    watched for two or three minutes a few more times but did not 
    see another flash in the Superbird A/Gorizont 24/Galaxy 2 
    vicinity.  (Galaxy 2 is another known flasher but is a 
    spin-stabilized object with period of something over two 
    seconds and so doesn't fit a slow flash.)
    
    Chinasat 5
    1 14985U 84049A   01107.78460619  .00000000  00000-0  10000-3 0  7365 
    2 14985   3.9810  76.6898 0003148 312.2245  47.8515  0.99983734 39407 
    
    Two of the three NOSS 2-3 objects were visible at one power
    (at least +3.5 at brightest) for much of their pass.  The 
    leader was the faintest one.
    
    HST did a brief -2 to -3 flare; hadn't seen it at all in at 
    least a couple of months (or a lot longer due to weather).
    
    Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas, USA
    
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