Partially eclipsed satellit

ROB MATSON (ROBERT.D.MATSON@cpmx.saic.com)
23 Feb 1998 22:03:34 -0800

For southern European observers,

I've identified the following satellites in MOLCZAN.TLE that will be =
visible
from Madrid, Spain, and which will be passing through the moon's
penumbra during their transits the evening of 26 February.  For each
of these satellites, the sun will be more than 50% obscurred during
the times indicated.  There are additional satellites that meet
these criteria, but these are the brightest ones:

#06212 RadCat               19:01:35 - 19:06:00
#12457 Meteor 2-7 r        19:17:25 - 19:22:55
#12465 Cosmos 1271 r    19:14:15 - 19:20:00
#14760 Cosmos 1538 r    19:00:05 - 19:03:25
#15334 Cosmos 1603 r4  19:13:00 - 19:18:45
#16182 Cosmos 1697 r    19:23:35 - 19:28:50
#19045 Cosmos 1939      18:59:35 - 19:03:30
#25080 1997-077D           (below horizon) - 19:25:55

Of these, RadCat is the brightest.  It makes a zenith pass starting
in the NNE.  At 18:59 UTC its elevation is 30 degrees, magnitude about
+4.7.  As it approaches Auriga, the brightness begins to level off.  Even
though the satellite range is decreasing, the moon is blocking more and
more of the sun.  RadCat passes close to Capella at 19:01:05 at its
peak magnitude of about +4.2.  At 19:01:35, RadCat would have been
at magnitude +3.6, but due to the moon blocking more than half the sun,
the magnitude is only +4.5.

Of these 8 satellites, only two ever become more than 90% eclipsed:
Cosmos 1603 r4 (#15334) and Meteor 2-7 r (#12457).  C1603 r4 peaks
at magnitude +5.2, drops down to +8.4 at deepest penumbra, then
brightens back to +7.6 before dimming again.  Meteor 2-7 r peaks at
mag +5.1, drops even deeper into penumbra at +10.1, and brightens
back to +7.8 before dimming again.

If I find any other good candidates for observers further north, I'll =
post them.

--Rob