Re: Endeavour, Mir, perhaps Soyuz, no TRMM
Sat, 31 Jan 1998 07:17:57 EST

In a message dated 98-01-31 02:46:03 EST, Ed Cannon wrote:

> Mark Hanning-Lee ( wrote:
>  > Spotting question: has anyone recently seen COBE or TRMM, & if so how
>  > bright were they? Manfred Bester lists them at
>  COBE is a different story.  Maybe it was bright in the past, but 
>  I'll say that it's *not* bright these days as far as I've been able 
>  to discern.  I've only been able to see it with magnification, and 
>  the one time that I found it in binoculars, it was very faint -- but 
>  it was between me and the Sun, so that was not the best phase angle.  
>  If I've seen it any other time, it was with Mike McCants' telescope.

COBE was a sat that I flagged from the time that I first developed an interest
visual satellite observation.   Back in the mid-80s I saw a mock-up at NASA' s
GSFC and made a mental note.

Because of its orbit there were no visible passes for months.  Then when there
was a series of visible passes I could never find the darn thing.   Those
were in the evening in the western sky.   Finally in the November, 1997 I
COBE during some more favorable passes and noted that it was about a 5.5 mag. 
Then in the late Nov./early Dec. time frame there were about 2 passes in the
evening  where COBE was high (60-70 deg.) in the eastem sky for an evening
It reached about a mag 2.5 for a time - easily visible at 1x.  I haven't seen
it lately
but with the cloud cover in Maryland I haven't seen anything but Iridium
flares for about 
3 weeks.

Don Gardner
39.1796 N; 76.8414 W;  34m ASL