Unexpected flare

Edward S Light (edlight@juno.com)
Sat, 25 Jul 1998 09:41:17 EDT

Last night just after 21:26 EDT (1998 07/25 01:26 UTC)  we saw a bright
object
flare peaking at about magnitude -1.5 west of Vega. We followed it in
binoculars
and by the time it had passed Vega it had  faded to about 5.3 magnitude
(i.e.
slightly dimmer than mu Lyrae's 5.11). We later realized it was 23233 =
94-057A =
USA 106 =  DMSP B5D2-7 , which we had seen on three earlier passes (1997
07/08,
1997 08/10 and 1998 04/26) at apparent magnitudes 4.1 - 5.7 .

Mir then made a beautiful near-zenith pass at 07/25 01:48 UTC shining at
perhaps
V=-2 .

Speaking of flares,  we also observed two non-flaring Iridiums:
71 (25320 98-026B)  which at about 07/25 01:58.6 UTC "mini-flared" at
V=+3.2 
  and
25 (24904 97-043B)  which at 07/25 02:07.9 UTC was at a typical V=6.5


Clear and dark skies!

Ed  and Darlene Light
Lakewood, NJ, USA
40.107 N, 074.232 W