TDF-1 flash predictions for Tuesday night

Matson, Robert (
Tue, 24 Aug 1999 11:26:56 -0700

Hi All,

Thanks to observations by Rick Baldridge and Ron Lee (and one
by myself) I've computed a preliminary spin axis for the near-
geosat TDF-1 (#19621, 88098A).  As Rick previously mentioned,
this satellite's peak flashes are about 2nd magnitude, occurring
roughly 9 1/2 minutes later each night.  It is currently visible
for those west of the Mississippi, but not for much longer as
the satellite is drifting westward.  See it while you can!

Here are the predicted window center times for Tuesday night,
August 24th (Aug 25, UT).  All times are UT:

5:57  Seattle (western Washington)
5:58  Oregon
5:59  San Francisco area (northern California)
6:00  Santa Barbara (central California)
6:01  Los Angeles area (southern California)
6:02  Las Vegas, Utah, Wyoming
6:03  Arizona
6:04  Colorado
6:05  New Mexico, Nebraska
6:06  Kansas, Iowa
6:07  Dallas-Ft. Worth (central Texas)
6:08  Houston (southeastern Texas)

Satellite is getting pretty low in the west-southwest for
the eastern locations above.  Elevation for Houston is around
15 degrees; Kansas City is about 12 degrees.  Tonite's flash
location (at the center of the window) is around RA 17h 26m,
Dec -6 deg.  Flashes are visible for 10 minutes or more,
starting ~5-7 minutes prior to the above center times.  Here
is a not-so-recent TLE:

1 19621U 88098A   99229.67333363 +.00000068 +00000-0 +10000-3 0 02123
2 19621 002.4764 080.1505 0001390 110.4727 249.8209 00.99193015036558

Good luck!  --Rob