UARS & Gorizont 23

Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Thu, 07 Aug 1997 02:22:46 -0500

While everyone else has fun with Mir/Soyuz/Progress and/or the decaying
object, here in Austin we have to look for other things....

I was watching UARS (91-63B, 21701), with Quicksat predicted magnitudes 
of 2.7 to 2.3 when it began brightening.  I suggested to Mike M. that
he look at it, and soon it flared to an astounding mag. -3 for about ten 
seconds!  Wow!  The phase angle at culmination was 18.  This was approx. 
2:29 UT Thursday (9:29 p.m. CDT Wednesday); approx. alt=32, azi=124 
(approx. RA 18:20, Dec -8.6).  I don't know what the sun-object-observer
angle was.

Then in his 8" telescope Mike and I picked up Gorizont 23 (91-46A, 21533) 
already flashing at 9:30 p.m. CDT Wednesday (2:30 UT Thursday), and it 
was still flashing at 11:21 p.m. when we called it quits.  Flashes were 
easily observable in 10x50 binoculars; the trick is looking in the right 
place, since it's very faint between flashes.  I had the convenience of
it being just a few degrees east of a certain point on a nearby radio 
tower!  The period is 53+ seconds.  The prediction for 11:20 p.m. (4:20 
UT Thursday) from here was RA 20:13.9, Dec. -7.9.

Observing location was BCRC Austin, Texas, USA, 30.315N, 97.866W, 280m.

Ed Cannon
Austin, Texas, USA
30.3086N, 97.7279W, 165m