the coming demise of Suitsat

From: Ed Cannon (
Date: Mon Aug 14 2006 - 03:37:34 EDT

  • Next message: Alberto Rango: "4541 SATOBS 12 - 13 AUG 2006"

    In my predictions for earlier tonight I noticed that Suitsat
    (05-034C, 28933) was there with a predicted orbital height of
    167 miles (267 km).  Mike pointed out that due to its short 
    periods of visibility and coming decay, this could be our last 
    chance to see it (maybe one more less favorable one on Monday 
    evening).  So, that's something to keep in mind.  By the way, 
    it went over in a big hurry but to me still seemed not too 
    bright, maybe +4.5 at the brightest.
    I also noticed a poor pass of Cosmos 2106 Rk (90-104B, 20967) 
    with an orbital height of only 183 miles (293 km).  So it's 
    another one that will be making low and fast passes in the 
    next few weeks as its orbit decays.
    NOSS 2-3 object tumbling?  I tried to check reports to see if
    anyone had reported this.  On recent passes it has appeared 
    that NOSS 2-3(D) (96-029D, 23862) seems to be tumbling, 
    although quite slowly.  While the two followers maintain a
    pretty constant magnitude throughout the pass, this one, the
    leader, varies by two or three magnitudes over a couple of 
    minutes, or maybe three.  It doesn't seem that changing phase
    angle would explain it, since the other two don't exhibit the
    same magnitude variation.
    Rapidly tumbling Gorizont.  The other night Gorizont 15 (19017,
    88-028A) was observed tumbling with a flash period of about 
    12.9 seconds (or maybe 25.8).  I believe this is the second 
    fastest flash period for a near-geosynch, after Superbird A
    (89-041A, 20040).  Gorizont 15 was not bright.  It required my 
    12x60 binoculars, at least.
    Speaking of Superbird A, earlier tonight I saw it through 
    cirrus clouds for almost five minutes (03:52-03:57 UTC -- when 
    it was around RA 16:14-19, Dec. -10.6, epoch 2000).
    Ed Cannon - Austin, Texas, USA
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