Superbird + ETS 6

Mike McCants (mikem@freeside.fc.net)
Sun, 31 Jan 1999 21:43:57 -0600 (CST)

Kurt Jonckheere has been unable to post a message to the list and asked me
to do it for him.

>From: "Kurt Jonckheere" <kjon@mail.dma.be>

Hello all,

yesterday evening (30 January) we finally had some nice weather
and two of the most interesting high flashers were visible :
Superbird and ETS 6.

Superbird = 89- 41 A = 20040
---------
Although the full moon was about 50 degrees from Superbird, I gave
it a try around 18h22m.  I was surprised to see it flashing immediately
to about mag 8.  The maxima were rather long, about 1 second the
brightness was greater than mag +11.  Some flashes were as bright as
mag +6.  I measured a whole bunch of flashes resulting in a period
of 23.120 (+- 0.002) seconds.

Comparing with previous observations from Rob Matson, the period seems
to be going down slowly again.  To be followed !
89- 41 A 98-09-16 03:08:44.7 RM                23.128 23.12825 +/- .00005
89- 41 A 98-09-17 03:10:23.9 RM                23.128 23.12813 +/- .00005
89- 41 A 98-09-18 03:09:43.2 RM                23.128 23.12783 +/- .00005
89- 41 A 98-09-24 03:18:25.6 RM  219.8 0.1     23.133 N=9.5 mag +3->inv
89- 41 A 98-09-29 03:23:33.1 RM  289.1 .05     23.127 N=13.5,mag +2.5->inv
89- 41 A 98-09-30 03:25:32.6 RM                23.127 23.12737 +/- .00005
89- 41 A 98-11-05 04:16:48.3 RM  219.9 0.1     23.149 N=9.5, mag +3->inv

At 3 UT this morning I woke up for the bright solar panel reflections, but the
sky was already cloudy again...


ETS 6 = 94- 56 A = 23230
-----
Tony's object was passing at 30 degrees altitude, nearly parallel
with the horizon, so I could follow it easily with my Dobsonian at
11 000 km.  I observed it between 20h10m and 20h20m UT,
flashing nicely with a primary maximum of mag +7.5 and a secundary
max to mag +9 or so.  The period was 6.999 (+- 0.002) seconds
between primary maxima..
So also this one is still accelerating !!

Latest obs was from Ed Cannon (or Mike?) with 14.1 (or 7.05) seconds.
>(23230, 94-56A).  About five minutes before my first prediction for
>ETS 6, and while I was still looking for LEOs, I happened to see
>bright one-power flashes (+1?) in the SW sky.  This was at approx.
>1:40-41 UTC on 11 January, from 30.314N, 97.866W, 280m (BCRC, Austin, 
>Texas).
>Its flash period is about 14.1 seconds.

In between these two, I also saw Intelsat 4-5 rocket (72- 41 B = 6058)
with a period of 25.47 seconds.  This Centaur rocket was flashing to
mag +7.  Centaurs are usually "bright" flashers so easily to observe with
some moon.

regards,

Kurt Jonckheere (kjon@mail.dma.be)

Please send your observations of flashing satellites to :
ppas@lists.satellite.eu.org.