Superbird A, 22 & 25 Feb 97

Ron Lee (ronlee@pcisys.net)
Tue, 25 Feb 1997 09:01:22 -0700 (MST)

A.   Observed from Albuquerque, New Mexico (USA)
on 22 Feb 97 UT with 7x50 mm binoculars.  A near full moon
was to the northeast and thin cirrus clouds were present
during portions of the obs.

Had 3 obs at 23.4 second intervals ending at 02:34:40.04 UT
followed by 11.7 second intervals from 02:34:51.81 to 
02:38:22.25 UT.  observed 4 more flashes at 23.4 seconds
starting at 02:38:45.69 UT.

The flash at 02:34:16.7 UT appeared to be the brightest
but it was one of the 23.4 sec interval flashes.  Some of
the flashes later were almost as bright.  I did not note
bright/faint flashes (but may have occurred) during the 
11.7 second period.  

Cannot provide unambiguous center point other than the mid
point of the 11.7 sec flashes (02:36:42.85 UT).  Note that this 
is between the flashes at 02:36:37.0 and 02:36:48.7 UT.

Note that this may be a different reference point than in 
other reports.  

Position was 106:33:44 W, 35:09:57 N, 5370 feet. (UT-7 or MST.)

B.   Observed from Falcon, CO (USA) with 8" scope on 25 Feb 97.

Only observed 11.7 sec flashes starting at about 02:37 UT.

Timed flashes from 02:38:25.75 to 02:46:37.08 UT when clouds
interfered.

Estimate the brightest flash at 02:41:09.4 UT .  Shortly after
this flash, about 6 flashes of near equal brightness.  Mid-point
of these flashes was the flash at 02:42:07.8 UT. (pick the one
before if desired or in between the two as I did in A.)

Beginning at 02:42:54.7 UT, detected fainter flashes alternating
with brighter flashes.  This was shifted by 11.7 seconds from
the faint/bright flash pattern before the equal brightness
flashes (02:41:21.1 to 02:42:19.4 UT)

Position of Superbird A at 02:44:16.6 UT is RA 8:13:57 (H:M:S)
and Dec -01:14 (D:M) (J2000)

Conclusions/disclaimers:   My ability to accurately estimate
magnitudes during the brightest flashes is still not the best.

However, I seem to detect a trend where the absolute brightest
flash occurs just prior to a period of nearly equally bright
flashes.  After this time, the alternating bright/faint pattern
resumes but shifted by 11.7 seconds compared to before the
period of equally bright flashes.