Re: exciting observation + Oscar 32

Robert G Fenske Jr (
Tue, 9 Feb 1999 08:44:16 -0600 (CST)

On Sun, 7 Feb 1999, Donovan Kemp wrote:
> to N. I found this quite exciting to have seen two satellites, for a moment,
> in one field of binocular view.
> I wonder, is this a common sight ?

	Somewhat.  I've had this happen a few times.  More common for me
is to have an unexpected satellite cross the binocular view, i.e. you are
looking for a particular object and you see different one instead (or
	Last Saturday evening I had a satellite just pop into view through
my binoculars.  My first thought was that I had seen a satellite come out
of the Earth's shadow, but then decided that wasn't the case as it
brightened too quickly.  It was visible for about 15 seconds then faded to
invisibility.  Later I determined it was Oscar 32 (#19071).  It's not in
the Molczan TLE file so I don't know how bright it is normally.  I just
happened to catch it during flash to around +5.

Robert Fenske, Jr.    Sw     |The Taming the C*sm*s series:
Southwest Research Institute            /R---\  |
Signal Exploitation & Geolocation Div  | I    | |"The Martian canals were the
San Antonio,Texas USA  ph:210-522-3931  \----/  | Martians' last ditch effort."