Re: When will Superbird A flash?

Robert Sheaffer (
Tue, 4 Feb 1997 23:06:19 -0800 (PST)

Ron Lee
> Just checked and Superbird A is getting to the point where I can
> observe it in the southeast.  Rainier had flashes in the 17:28 to
> 17:49 UT period (daylight in Colorado USA).  

Last fall, its brilliant flashes occurred an hour or less after
the end of twilight, as seen from the west coast. Thus the angle
sun-satellite-observer was large, close to 180 degrees.

> Does anyone speculate as to when it will flash at nightime in the 
> USA?   I am not looking forward to spending hours out in the current
> chilly weather waiting on it!

My guess would be that the best time to look for brilliant flashes
would be *before dawn*, when the angle is again close to 180 degrees,
as the satellite creeps up on your eastern horizon. I would expect
that observers who are seeing it in the western sky may see evening
flashes. It may be that the kind of brilliant flashes we were seeing
before will only occur near the time of equinox.

Divide up the task! If 12 people in the same region each agree to observe it
for one hour, that should cover the whole night.


        Robert Sheaffer - - Skeptical to the Max!
     San Jose, California -  37 deg 17' 19" north, 121 deg 59' 09" west.

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