Rainbow 1 Centaur Rocket

From: Michael McCants (mmccants@jump.net)
Date: Sun Aug 03 2003 - 23:07:33 EDT

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    Ed Cannon and I went to the AAS "dark site" northwest of Austin
    on Saturday night and I found the Rainbow 1 Centaur about
    midnight CDT in my 8 inch telescope.
    
    Rainbow 1 Centaur Rocket
    1 27853U 03033B   03213.73253961 -.00000020  00000-0  00000+0 0    60
    2 27853  17.8185 118.9012 6028017   2.5112 359.6105  2.11265735   319
    
    It was about altitude 29, azimuth 262 at a range of 12000 miles.
    
    It tumbled to about magnitude 8.5 with a period of about 74 seconds.
    The minima were about magnitude 12.  Flashes were seen to about
    magnitude 7.5 or 8 in the middle of every other minimum.  The period
    of these was 148 seconds.  I assume that a flat end plate at one
    end of the Centaur was reflecting sunlight.  The HighFly intrinsic
    magnitude would be about 1.0.
    
    Ed saw quite a few objects "one-power" under these dark skies and
    a number of the star party observers were impressed with the easily
    visible "flying triangle" NOSS 2-2 objects as they rose from
    40 degrees up in the north and went into the Earth's shadow just
    before reaching culmination high in the north-northeast.  They
    were about magnitude 3.5 at a range of 800 miles.
    
    Mike McCants
    Austin, Tx
    
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