TOPEX seen very bright

Bjvrn Gimle @JAR (@JAR")
Tue, 06 Dec 94 10:39:01 -0800

On Dec.03, 1994, at about 17:16 UT, I tried to measure the flashing of #16369, 
1985-116 B, Comos 1709 r. I was not prepared for its bad magnitude ( 7-inv. ?)
and was using my ultra-light 7*25, instead of the 7*50.
Although I timed 34 "maxima", I couldn't make any sense out of the timings !

So, I decided to try the next orbit, but at 19:02, while looking near Vega,
it suddenly looked as if Vega was above left of of my field-of-view ( looking
beside the binocular field ) ! I soon that this mag. -2 object was moving
up and to the right, and followed it while it gradually, after about 5 seconds,
became fainter - two minutes later it was about +5, and at about 20:04:31 it
entered earth's shadow near Delta Umi.

I identified it as TOPEX, #22076, and remembered mails from Walter Nissen
mentioning previous observations, but I hadn't realized that it could give
such long-duration flashes !

Since Sun position, and probably TOPEX attitudes, vary quite slowly, I suggest 
you try to observe it, especially if you have a pass near RA 19:30, Dec.+40 !