Phobos Grunt - Observation Dec 7

Date: Thu Dec 08 2011 - 10:17:47 UTC

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    Yesterday evening I observed PhG under very clear and uniform sky during a 40 
    deg. pass. My limit magnitude 
    was something between 4 and 5 due to city lights (I didn’t manage to go out of 
    the city). 
    I spotted the spacecraft at 16.53.05 UTC and I followed it with the naked eye 
    until it entered shadow. 
    The spacecraft was easily visible and reached magnitude 1. However brightness 
    was NOT stable but
    it changed slowly: it exhibited two marked minima during which the spacecraft 
    was almost invisible 
    (I would estimate around mag. 4.5). The first one occurred at 16.53.25 UTC 
    close to Altair, followed by 
    a faint “flare” at mag. 1 (or more bright) at 16.53.45, the second minimum 
    occurred at 16.54.12. 
    (My coordinates were: lat 45.45 deg. lon 8.63 deg). 
    Best Regards,
    Seesat-l mailing list

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