Superbird A flash maxima observed

Jason Hatton (
Wed, 05 Aug 1998 10:24:04 +0000

Hi All,

	I had a very short break in the clouds this morning, just in the right
place & right time to spot Superbird A (20040 / 89-041A) & get a timing
of it's flash maxima. A break in clouds appeared around 03:12 UT & I
spotted Superbird shortly after using 10x50 binoculars. Every second
flash appeared somewhat fainter (mag +3 to +4) than the main flashes
(mag +2 to +3), so I took these to be secondary flashes & counted the
principle (bright) flashes. Counting 10 flash periods I got a period of
23.1s (& of course a period half this if you include the secondary
flashes). The flashes increased somewhat in brightness & my impression
was that the brightest flashes were at those at 03:16:03 & 03:16:26 UT
(5-Aug-1998), although for a minute or two before this time the maxima
were also quite bright. I estimate the flashes were easily mag+2 if not
brighter. The flashes seemed to fade after this time & I couldn't see
them beyond 03:19UT. However, there was still some thin cloud in the
area & the twilight was making it difficult to see the stars by this

Best wishes & clear skies,   


Jason P Hatton
ETS Strasbourg
67065 Strasbourg Cedex

48.538N / 7.731E / 143m