Re: stumbled onto EGP ( Feb 10'03 -9:11pm)

From: Willie Koorts (
Date: Tue Feb 11 2003 - 02:28:40 EST

  • Next message: Markus Mehring: "Re: stumbled onto EGP ( Feb 10'03 -9:11pm)"

    On Tue, 11 Feb 2003, Larry Brash wrote:
    > Its behaviour is much as you describe, flashing on average 3/sec, but
    > really quite irregularly. The flashes vary in magnitude and are about
    > mag 4.5 to 5.0, and invisible between flashes
    > I had similar difficulties IDing it using SatHunt, but once I changed
    > the Mag to 8-9, I found it
    An interesting satellite indeed!  I have been wondering how bright the
    flashes actually are and your statement of mag 4.5 to 5.0 is interesting.  
    Did anyone ever measure them?  Quite difficult, I guess, since they are so 
    The reason why I'm wondering about your brightness values perhaps being a
    little on the bright side is that the flashes are very difficult (near
    impossible) to see naked eye, even from a dark site.  
    During "Columbia" weekend, when stargazing at a really dark site where the
    LM easily reaches mag 6.5 (without actually measuring it) we had a pass of
    EGP.  I had Greg's low-light CoSaTrak camera with me and used it on my
    automated mount to track EGP.  Even though the flashes seem very bright on
    the monitor, several of us tried spotting them naked eye by sighting along
    the mount.  We even did another novel trick to point it out very
    accurately - a visiting UK astronomer had a 5mW green laser pointer who's
    beam can be seen in the camera when pointing in its field of view.  Even
    with all this help of knowing exactly where to look, I THOUGHT I perhaps
    saw one or two flashes (but was not really sure) and the others did not
    fair any better despite the optimal conditions.
    Is it brightness or short duration thats the reason for not seeing the
    flashes naked eye?
                         	  	Willie Koorts
           Cape Town,  Observatory   33d 56' 03"S   18d 28' 36"E   GMT + 2h
           Wellington, South Africa  33d 38' 56"S   19d 00' 52"E   GMT + 2h
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