Gail Leadbeatter (
Sun, 21 Feb 1999 13:33:44 +1100


I am new here, my name is Warren Leadbeatter (I am using my wife's email
account at home).
I am located at a place called Kellyville NSW Australia. (Coords 33.72 S,
150.93 E 99M ASL)
Kellyville is approx 40km NW of Sydney, clear skys and well situated for
night sky viewing.

I have been watching the night skys for the past 10 or so years. Nothing
too serious, mainly sun, planets, moon and the occaisional comet, however
this year I decided to find out more about satellites after noticing a few
that would occaisionally flare up then fade out. (I have since discovered
that these are Iridiums).  I decided to get on the Internet and see what I
could find.  I have found some excellent sites that have given me a great
amount of information in very little time. 

The first place I discovered was the GSOC Satellite Predictions Page.  I was totally amazed when it told me that
the ISS was going to fly over and I went outside to look and there it was
exactly where the program said it would be! The hair was standing up on the
back of my neck and there was a rush of excitement. Hey, this thing works!
I quickly raced back inside to see what else this thing could tell me.  I
discovered that the Iridium Flare predicitions are also very accurate and
was blown away a second time when I saw one during the day time.

Since then (about 3 weeks ago) I have found all sorts of amazing info,
satellite prediction programs, elsets! and web sites that have led me here.
 Hopefully I will learn more from you guys and maybe contribute a little as

Warren Leadbeatter

P.S. Last night I saw 2 Iridiums within a minute or so of each other, I
believe it was Iridium 84 first then Iridium 10 second.  There seems to be
a bit of confusion regarding the naming of these little guys. I read that
OIG lists Iridium 9 & 10 back to front and that Iridium 84 is not at
operational altitude yet so the flare predicition may not be accurate.

Nevertheless I saw 2 flares within a minute or so of each other flying
North to South about 26 deg El at 183 deg Az. at the times predicited by
IRIDFLAR v1.65 by Rob Matson. Amazing!

Warren Leadbeatter        Email:
Ph: 02-9629-5851  Mobile: 0412-230-677   ICQ#: 5986123
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