Superbird Sept 1

Matson, Robert (
Tue, 31 Aug 1999 15:15:05 -0700

Hi All,

For those with insomnia in Europe, you can try seeing the
bright flashes of Superbird A (#20040) before it gets too
low in the southwest in the coming days.

I still have no recent flash reports from this satellite,
so as usual the times are uncertain by perhaps 10 or 15
minutes either way.  My prediction for Wednesday morning,
Sept. 1st is ~3:36 UT for London; a couple minutes later for
Paris and Belgium, and about 3:40 for Switzerland.  Since
the flashes start about 4 minutes prior to the peak, observers
in England should start looking at about 3:22 (3:36 - 10 - 4).
At that time, Superbird will be about 1/2 way between theta-
and 46-Ceti.  By 3:36 (the predicted center), the stars will
have shifted so that the satellite is a few degrees to the
right of the zeta/chi-Ceti pair.

The moon is still a bit of a nuisance, but should be far
enough away that it doesn't obscure the view.  Flashes should
occur about once every 23 seconds at the beginning and end,
and twice that rate in the middle.

For subsequent nights, look about 80 seconds later per night.
Recent elements:

Superbird A      2.4  2.6  2.2  6.2 d 4.61
1 20040U 89041A   99238.21788176  .00000000  00000-0  10000-3 0  1300 
2 20040   6.5952  54.7343 0007894 122.8333 237.4535  0.99749471 36795 

P.S.:  If some observers on the east coast of North America
want to try tonite, the center time for Newfoundland is
3:15 UT; Nova Scotia is 3:11 UT; New Jersey is 3:07.  Elevation
is still quite low in the ESE, though (about 12 degrees for
Halifax, 7 degrees for NYC).  --Rob