Cosmos 2342 SL-6 r observation

EricVondra@aol.com
Mon, 4 Aug 1997 22:13:25 -0400 (EDT)

Just observed this decaying sat (97022B) amid Pittsburgh light pollution and
50 percent cloud cover. Estimated mag 3.0., steady.  Used Bjorn's element
set:

C 2342 SL-6 r1   5.0  0.0  0.0  5.5 d            232 x 187 km
1 24801U 97022B   97216.87943651  .02002302  19883-2  65159-3 0 91678
2 24801  62.7626 230.7416 0034178 118.5256 241.8189 16.23861950 13154

Seemed to be right on time and track (although my time is only accurate to
about a minute). Maximum altitude was about 40 degrees. Nice view as it
zipped by Mars and Spica, stacked up in the west only a couple of degrees
apart. Saw beginning and middle of pass before it went into clouds (which
obliterated a Mir pass a few minutes later). 

By the way, I've found that cutting a custom set of binocular eyeguards out
of a toilet "flapper tank ball" or the larger "tank ball" helps tremendously,
totally blocking out any light glare when I observe from home. These are
black rubber or vinyl parts that go in the toilet tank and only cost a dollar
or two in the U.S. The cup-shaped parts can be cut to fit around your whole
eye to seal out all stray light (better than the usual round eyeguards that
come standard on most binoculars). Good for telescope eyepieces, too. I
would, however, recommend that you buy these parts new.

Eric Vondra
Pittsburgh PA