Metop Central ASCAT Antenna Flare

From: Gerhard HOLTKAMP (
Date: Thu Apr 19 2007 - 17:54:11 EDT

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    I finally managed to see a flare from the central ASCAT antenna of Metop 
    (2006-044A ). I followed Metop for 6 minutes across the Western sky and for 
    most of the time it remained very dim (which is quite typical for that 
    satellite). Then just below Cassiopeia it went up to almost mag 0 (while at 
    an elevation of only 13). It was a rather flat flare. This and the timing of 
    the maximum at 20:36:45 UTC, 19-APR-07 is exactly in line with the specified 
    orientation of the central ASCAT antenna (Yaw -90 deg, Pitch -56.5 deg) and 
    my distance from the central line of that flare. 
    I have seen some flares from the -45 deg ASCAT antenna before and there seems 
    to be not just a central flare but also a secondary flare from that but I 
    need more observations to clarify that.
    And still with European weather satellites: Today was the final maneuver in 
    the retirement of Meteosat 5 (1991-015B). (Some final venting I was told.)
    Gerhard HOLTKAMP
    Darmstadt, Germany
    49.8822 N, 8.6558 E
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