Re: Hubble flashes

Willie Koorts (wpk@saao.ac.za)
Fri, 7 Feb 1997 16:12:14 +0200 (GMT+0200)

On Fri, 7 Feb 1997, Robert Reeves wrote:

> Those of you who observe from the low latitudes like me have a good shot at
> HST and have probably noticed the brilliant flare it produces from time to
> time.

Hi Robert (and others)

I first thought not to bother the list with this, but since you mention it -
I had a nice pass of HST last night (46 deg culmination) from our Sutherland
observatory site (which has pitch black skies being new moon and all).  The
previous times when I saw it glint were always before culmination and when it
passed culmination last night without flaring, I thought; "Well, that's it,
nothing tonight". I kept following it and then, just before going into shadow
(@ 27 deg Altitude) it brightened to perhaps mag -3.  The amazing thing was
that it was still flashing as it went into shadow with the result that it
disappeared from sight almost instantly. 

A sight I won't forget in a while.

The main reason I did a prediction was to see if I would be able to 
follow part of the servicing mission next week.  Unfortunately my last 
pass will be on Tue (11 Feb.) when it should start (not a nice pass 
anyway - 9 deg Alt only). 

Cheers
Willie