ASTRO-D glint?

Matson, Robert (
Mon, 28 Dec 1998 13:28:30 -0800

Hi All,

Has anyone ever observed a bright glint from ASTRO-D (#22521)?
Two novice observers, at separate locations about 20 miles apart,
were watching for a flare from Iridium 26 about 30 degrees above the
southern horizon on December 23, but were both distracted by a
bright flare occurring about 90 seconds too early.  At first when
they told me this, I asked if their watches were set right.  Sure
enough they were.  Unfortunately, they both thought the show
was over, so neither was looking at the predicted time of the
flare (which I'm confident did occur).

I asked if the glinting satellite was moving north to south (as IR26
was).  Both said no, it was moving roughly west to east (from
about latitude 33 deg).  The only satellite that came close to
matching the time, direction and location of the glint was ASTRO-D,
but I didn't think it could get bright enough to be confused with an
Iridium glint. --Rob