Re: New Iridiums Spotted

Ron Lee (
Thu, 19 Feb 1998 06:08:45 -0700

Thanks for the elset info Jason.   AT about 23 hours after launch,
the elsets were getting bad. For some reason, even 12 hours after 
launch, there were no elsets from OIG.

I think the lead object you saw was the rocket body.  I just observed
 it flashing about twice per second with sharp flashes just like you

You should get either Rob Matson's Iridflar or Randy John's Skysat.
Both do a great job at predicting flares.  I ran my prelaunch elset
and it did not work in Iridflar for some reason.  

My initial plots of the launch did show that it would be visisble in
Europe.  Glad you saw it. You were probably the first!!!!  Good job.

Ron Lee

At 09:17 AM 2/19/98 +0000, you wrote:
>Thanks to Ron Lee's pre-launch elsets & a clear sky, I managed to spot
>the newly launched Iridium's yesterday evening, on their third orbit
>after launch. I observed them using 10x50 binoculars as they passed very
>close to delta-And at 18:25:00 UT (19:25:00 local). There were several
>objects strung out in a line about 3-4 deg long. The pass was only about
>40 deg maximum altitude in the west so the objects were quite faint,
>probably only Mag 7.5. The lead object flashed three times in a period
>of about 10 seconds up to about Mag 4, each flash only lasting a split
>second. I didn't see any more flashes after that. I had a hard job
>keeping track of the objects, since they were faint (& that part of the
>sky is quite light polluted too) & lost them after about 20 seconds. I
>kept a look out for any flares as they moved to the north, but non were
>Jason P Hatton
>ETS Strasbourg
>67065 Strasbourg Cedex
>48.538N / 7.731 E 146m