Unexpected Gorizont, and others

From: Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Date: Sun Jan 18 2004 - 05:14:08 EST

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    I spent 2.5 hours at Mt. Bonnell being buffeted by 60 km 
    wind gusts of an arriving cold front (talk about unsteady 
    viewing!), but it was the first clear night in six and I 
    was able to see quite a few including a couple of 
    unexpected.  In spite of the wind it wasn't too cold (yet) 
    because the high temperature in the afternoon had been 
    76 F (almost 25 Celsius).
    Above ISS I saw a slow-moving flasher with 3-second period.  
    I turned to free a hand and get stopwatch, and ISS had 
    gone into the shadow, and I couldn't find the unid.  But I 
    wrote down that it might have been Telstar 402 (94-058A, 
    23249) -- and that does seem to have been it, at a range 
    of over 17,000 km, seen with my 8x42.  It was at about 
    RA 22:50, Dec -4.3 (2000).
    Later I saw USA 160 Rk (01-040B, 26906), and right there 
    with it was a northbound 3-second flasher.  It was Cosmos 
    2398 Rk (03-023B, 27819), with actual flash period about 
    2.7 seconds.
    Finally I went back to my place and walked over to the Ney 
    Museum grounds and watched Superbird A (20040, now 
    flashing a little west of eta Ceti) and Gorizont 23 (21533).  
    Then before going back home, I noticed Jupiter had risen 
    above the museum and put my 8x42 on it.  This was about 12 
    degrees above the eastern horizon.  There was a flash two 
    or three degrees to its right.  Uh oh!  I waited to see if 
    there would be another.  It was about 101 seconds later.  
    After returning home it was identified as Gorizont 16 
    (88-071A, 19397).  Here are PPAS reports on the Gorizonts 
    and Shi Jian 4 Rk (94-010C, 22997):
    91- 46 A 04-01-18 04:30:44   EC  928.6 0.2  16 58.04  +5.5->inv
    88- 71 A 04-01-18 05:02:42   EC  813.6 0.3   8 101.70 +6.0->inv
    94- 10 C 04-01-18 02:40:21   EC   83.0 0.4  10  8.30  +3.5->inv
    I watched both NOAA 8 (83-022A, 13923) and NOAA 6 (79-057A, 
    11416) go over flashing but found that my timings were not
    easy to figure out.  NOAA 6 seemed to be roughly 19.m and 
    17.n alternating.  I got these times for NOAA 8:
    11.16, 10.59, 11.81, 10.36, 5.59, 5.75, 5.44, 5.46, 11.25, 
    2.89, 8.31, 2.73, 8.10
    Two other nice views were that Cosmos 1833 Rk (87-027B, 
    17590) went right through the Pleiades, and there was a 
    very nice, bright, fast pass of Asiasat 1 Rk (90-030B, 
    20559) that was almost straight up in the west, going into 
    Wondering what's going to happen to this enjoyable hobby 
    come May...
    Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas, USA
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