Superbird A update

Matson, Robert (
Mon, 13 Jul 1998 17:44:05 -0700

Hi All,

Several of you have asked about some predictions for the return of
Superbird A (#20040),
particularly in Europe (where it is now above the SE horizon).  It has
been several months
since this satellite has been in position to produce its primary flashes
for an area
populated by Seesat members.  But now, finally, Europe and Africa are
favored.  The
following times are my best guesses based on how I think the satellite's
rotation axis
has precessed in the last few months.  I'm listing times to the nearest
minute, but this
does NOT reflect an accuracy expectation.  These times will be off --
might be ten minutes,
might be 30.  But it gives everyone a starting point:

Best-estimate UTC times for 14 July 1998:

Portugal:  2:33
Spain: 2:34
France:  2:38
Southern England:  2:39
Italy:  2:39
Switzerland:  2:40
Belgium:  2:40
Southwest Germany:  2:40
South Africa:  2:41

If these times are close to correct (a BIG "if"), then the flashes will
in the vicinity of Zeta Ceti low in the southeast sky for Europe.
angle is about 11 degrees for Southern England, 14 degrees for Paris,
about 15 degrees for Madrid, and 24 degrees for Rome.  For Cape Town,
the flashes will be in the northeast about 39 degrees above the horizon,
in the vicinity of Alpha-Psc.  As always, once someone gets a fix on
it, I can refine the predictions to the usual 1-minute accuracy.  --Rob