Re: Superbird Sept 1 -- Bingo! I got it.

Malcolm Purves (malcolmp@ukonline.co.uk)
Wed, 01 Sep 1999 05:39:51 +0000

At 15:15 31/08/99 -0700, Rob wrote:

>For those with insomnia in Europe,

I think that perhaps that should read inso-mania :-))
I must be nuts, awake at this time !

> you can try seeing the
>bright flashes of Superbird A (#20040) before it gets too
>low in the southwest in the coming days.

Rob :
my preliminary report from a beginner at this game is :-
My location is SW England 51.444 lat, 2.745(W) lat. 25ft asl.
Near Bristol.
Just prior to 03:34:45 I saw the first flash, as this was my
first time and I was still scanning the field between theta,
46, and chi I waited for a second flash to confirm, and
localise the area.
When this happened I glanced away at my clock which gave
me the 03:34:45s UTC time ( clock is radio locked to the
Rugby, UK, time code transmitter )
The last flash was just before 03:39:56. I was roughly
counting periods in my head ( not a very accurate head! )
and when a period and a half to perhaps two went by with no
flash I looked away to my clock, which gave me the
03:39:56s time.
The position was, as you correctly predicted, to the right
of zeta/chi, in fact just above above and a bit right of a
mag 5.75 star shown on SkyMap.
The elapsed time was, thus, 5mins. which makes me think
that I must have missed the start ? Since you say that
should be about 4mins before the peak ( middle ? )

Limiting mag. in my 10x50 was perhaps 6.2 or slightly better
based on the star of 6.13 that SkyMap shows between theta
and a star above 46.
There was light haze from time to time and much dewing!
Hope this helps,
as it is now 05:20 local ( 04:20utc ) I must get to bed!
If I remember any further details, or whatever, I will
post tomorrow !

Malcolm.

>
>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.

snip.