re: Brief Intro and Introducing myself

Walter Nissen (
Mon, 20 Jul 1998 14:08:09 -0400 (EDT) (Vmtor Sexto Bernardes) writes: 
>     And I have a question about Iridium 20. I've seen it quite a lot (for 
> the first time) the past few days, and it was "blinking". Why does that 
> happen? Is it just rotating, since it's no longer working? 
It seems to be tumbling out of control.  Some readers may recall my recent 
message in which I distinguished "synodic" and "intrinsic" phenomena. 
This seems to be intrinsic. (G Becker) writes: 
> I am VERY NEW to this, in fact, with 
> the assistance of my SATspy program I managed to see nothing last 
> night. 
We are all newbies at almost everything.  Welcome to SeSat-L. 
> Hopefully, I can do a tad better than that. 
Perhaps you need to use updated elsets?? 
> I plan to 
> incorporate some of these observations into an astronomy curriculum if I 
> can get it going. 
> One question, can someone point me in the right direction as far as the 
> Iridium flare phenomena are concerned?  Was wondering how many Iridium 
> sattelites there are, and how many are actually functional. 
There are 72 Iridium satellites.  They are numbered 4 thru 75, in various 
ways, depending, it seems, on who is having the most fun tonight.  Because 
the vulgar names are very troublesome, it is best to pay attention to the 
catalog numbers or COSPAR IDs. 
Jeff Hunt is an excellent source of pointers to info. 
The Iridia in their working orbits and working attitudes are the sources 
of extremely bright synodic glints visible over narrow regions which run 
basically North-South or South-North.  The tumblers produce extremely 
bright flashes visible over much larger areas. 
All of the following are well advised to seek information from, the VSOHP, Visual 
Satellite Observer's Home Page, the 2 in the address being optional: 
a) newbies to satellite observing 
b) newbies to Internet resources for satellite observing -and- 
c) anyone who hasn't dropped by lately to see what's new. 
Most all your questions should be answered there.  If not, you might want 
to complain here.  Maybe we can move things around or add new material. 
For updates on developing situations, like elset distribution right now, 
SeeSat-L is probably your best source of info. 
> Seems as 
> though half of them are spinning out of control or something. 
Nearly everyone named on the front page of the newspaper is an egomaniac, a 
criminal or a victim of a tragedy.  Is your family or your school or your 
workplace that way? 
We lavish excess attention on the "bad" ones. 
> Thanks for your time, hope to hear more of your observations soon. 
Me, too. 
Walter Nissen 
-81.8637, 41.3735, 256m elevation