Flashes in the Night

finn@main.jetnet.ab.ca
Fri, 26 Feb 1999 20:28:16 -0700 (MST)

After reading the posts about DMSP 7 #07816 flashing i tried to look for it.
Shielding my eyes from the blinding glare from the Moon i spotted a flash,
magnitude 2, to the East. I didn't time it but suspected it it may have been
DMSP 7. No other flashes were seen, especially with the Moon in the way, but
i scanned it's probable track and noted a -2 magnitude flash just to the
West and slightly below Sirius, azimuth 160-165 degrees, elevation of approx
20 degrees at 02:29:18 +/- 2 sec 27 Feb. I think that was DMSP 7. 

Later on Iridum 79 #25470 was scehduled to come by, the latest elsets, which
i used have it listed as a ? but the Iridium elsets list it as a tum. Anyway
it is a definate tumbler as it faded in and out, being visible longer than
not being visible. Not expecting it to fade in and out, at least 13 times, i
didn't get an accurate timing but the period of invisibility was approx 2
sec while the visible period was about 8 sec. As it's track took it to the
South i noted 2 sharp -3 flashes and 1 -1 flash. Too bad the moon was out or
it would have been much more spectacular.

Also, earlier on Iridium 53 made a nice, predicted -6 flare but more closer
to -8 considering the observing conditons. 

Jari
54.25N
110.11W
556m