Superbird A, Colorado, 20 Feb 97

Ron Lee (
Wed, 19 Feb 1997 21:17:18 -0700 (MST)

Again observed under clear skies and a nearly full moon.
Limiting magnitude about 11.5.  Magnification with 8"
telescope was 51x.

Was determining visual magnitudes when the satellite was 
first observed.  Since it was at the point that I had
planned on getting a position fix, that was done first.

At 02:32:56.5 UT (20 Feb 97), RA was 08:24:44 and the DEC 
was -01:08:30 (J2000).

Superbird was already quite bright (perhaps 7th magnitude)
so I am not sure whether I just missed the early phases
and brightness ramp up, or the characteristics are 

Was not able to time sufficient early flashes to define
an approximate change in BRIGHT/FAINT flash pattern.  This
is what I assumed is a shifting of maximum light reflected
from one array to the other. Discussions with Rob Matson
have helped convince me that I have no idea what is

I will assume the brightest flash I saw at 02:34:29.4 UT
was the mid point.   By 02:38, the flashes were becoming
noticeably fainter.  At 02:41:18.8, the flashes were at 
23.4 second intervals.  Last flash timed at 02:42:05.6 UT
at which time both flashes were at 11.0-11.5 or fainter.

If my mid point is correct, then the duration to invisibility
in my scope under prevailing conditions was about 8 minutes.

Ron Lee