RE: Unknown Object Flared Followup

Matson, Robert (
Thu, 8 Jul 1999 13:06:33 -0700

Hi John,

> I was observing with my telescope last night and saw a satellite
> moving from NE to SE passing just east of Cygnus.  At around 10:40 [EDT]
> it flared brightly.  It was brighter than Venus when it did so.  It then
> faded and I followed ith with binoculars for the rest of its pass.

This was one of the more recent Iridium launches -- Iridium 21A.  If
you had happened to be looking in the same area 2 minutes earlier, you
would have seen Iridium 70 flare up to around -0.5.

Try looking again tonite in the same location.  You'll have an
even brighter flare from Iridium 64 at 10:30:55pm (-7 mag) and
then a possible flare from Iridium 14A at 10:32:21pm (-2 ?).

And then at 10:56:02 look for Iridium 18 to flare up to about
mag -2 about 15 degrees to the right (and somewhat above) the
Mars/Spica pair.  --Rob