Mir flare; Resurs 1-4 (A and G objects)

Eric Vondra (evondra@usaor.net)
Thu, 23 Jul 1998 23:55:18 -0400

I observed a nice -1.5 pass of Mir tonight (0248 UT 24 Jul),
and for the first time saw it flare distinctly (to a little
brighter than -2.0). However, my brother 40 miles to the
south saw the same flare, but it was -6 mag from his site!
He's never seen it flare that brightly, and said it was very
similar to an Iridium flare. The flare lasted 2 or 3
seconds. He was wondering which panel might be
responsible--perhaps a newer surface?

Resurs 1-4 (98 043A) was 6.0 mag and steady. TMSAT (98 043C)
was just a little over a degree to the east on a parallel
track, mag 8.0. Looked like a fast-moving NOSS cluster with
only two sats.

Resurs 1-4r (98 043G) did not exhibit as pronounced a
variation tonight as it had last weekend, and the period is
somewhere around 8 seconds, but less distinct now, and it
never faded to complete invisibility in 10x50s as it had
previously. It is still steady until after culmination on a
northbound pass.

Fog shut me down around 11 p.m. tonight, but I got some good
observing in.

Eric Vondra
Wampum, PA, USA
40.8538N 80.3292W 200m