Observations of Superbird A and Oscar 10 by Paul Maley

Mike McCants (mikem@fc.net)
Sun, 16 Feb 1997 16:03:28 -0600 (CST)

Paul Maley tried to use the old "iris" address for SeeSat-L and
then sent these two messages to me a few hours ago.

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Observations of SUPERBIRD (20040) made Feb. 16 with 150 mm binocular.
Flashes observed around 0248UT at +8, subsiding to +9.5 by 0253.
However, I noted bright specular flashes beginning at 0329 ending at
0349. Brightest flashes in that period were +4 while others were +5 to
+6. I recorded 18m01s of observations and 46 flashes were logged on
video tape. I arranged them in terms of brightest (+4) or regular
flashes (=5-6) as follows. Intervals between flashes were about 23.4
seconds.

Flashes numbers: 1-5 (regular), 6-8 (bright), 9 (regular), 10 (bright),
11 (regular), 12 (bright), 13-16 (regular), 17 (bright), 18 (regular),
19 (bright), 20 (regular),21-23 (bright), 24 (regular), 25 (bright),
26-36 (regular), 37-39 (bright), 40 (regular), 41 (bright), 42
(regular), 43-45 (bright), 46 (bright)"

Paul Maley
NASA Johnson Space Center
Houston TX 77058 USA
email: pmaley@gp808.jsc.nasa.gov
(Latitude 29.5378 north, Longitude 95.0868 west)

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Saturday, February 15, 1997 11:25 AM
Subject: OSCAR 10 spotted

I observed OSCAR 10 (14129) at 0643UT Feburary 15 with a 150mm binocular
midway between two elsets provided to me by Mike McCants. The range was
10,403 km. A total of 27 flashes were seen. They were separated by 3.5, 4, 5
or 6 seconds with no obvious pattern. They were +7 magnitude specular
gradually dimming to +9.5 specular. Nothing else could be seen between the
flashes in terms of background reflection, only the flashes. Observation
period was 162 seconds.

Paul Maley
NASA Johnson Space Center
email: pmaley@gp808.jsc.nasa.gov
(Latitude 29.5378 north, Longitude 95.0868 west)

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The two elsets I sent him were:

1. The Spacecom elset adjusted to a mean motion and zero drag:

1 14129U 83058  B 96299.11613815  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0  4631
2 14129  25.8792 182.5891 6052907  60.2572 346.3435  2.05882000 72548

2. An elset generated by my lunar/solar perturbation program:
1 14129U 83058  B 97 41.93530000  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0     0
2 14129  25.7730 163.6470 6061400  91.2180   0.0000  2.05882300     0

The time of passage for the above two elsets is in pretty good agreement.
To get a position that is 1/2 way between, I adjusted the node on the
second elset by 0.8 degrees:

Oscar 10      
1 14129U 83058  B 97 41.93530000 0.00000000  00000-0  00000+0 0    04
2 14129  25.7730 164.4470 6061400  91.2180   0.0000  2.05882300    05

Mike McCants
mikem@fc.net