Mir, Progress, C2151, C1818 and Telstar 1

Tue, 17 Feb 1998 21:43:48 EST

Since a large weather system on the East coast USA [triggered by several high
elevation predicted Mir passes :-( ], will prevent any obs for the next few
days, and the new Iridiums remain earthbound, it seems like a good time to
post some observations and an info request.

First the mandatory Mir observation: 15 Feb at 18:42 EST (23:42 UT) just below
alpha-UMa.   It reached about a mag 0 to +1 at a max el of 26 deg.  What was
noteworthy was that Progress M-37 (25102, 97081A) followed Mir 5 minutes later
at about a mag 4.0 - easily visible through 10x50s - not quite visible (for
me) at 1x.  

Cosmos 2151 (21422, 91042A) passed at 18:57 EST (23:57 UT) 15 February.  Its
brightness was about a 3.5 - easily visivle at 1x through most of its pass and
brighter than I was expecting.

Cosmos 1818 (17369, 87011A) passed on 14 February at 19:14 EST(00:14 UT; 15
Feb).  The flash period seem to be about 4.5 seconds.  [One of these days I'll
actually read the notes on my Quicksat output and be ready for a flasher

Question on Telstar 1 (00340, 62019A):  The perigee for Telstar 1 is 951km
(515 n-miles) and occurs in the northern extreme of the orbit (44.8 degrees).
The magnitude on the Skymap plot is about an 8.2 for some relatively high
passes next month.   Do I have a chance of observing this object with 10x50s
or is a telescope required?

Don Gardner
Homepage: http://members.aol.com/mir16609/
76.8419 W, 39.1796 N,  34m ASL