Geosyncs; Globalstar rockets; Abrixas rocket

Eric Vondra (evondra@usaor.net)
Sun, 11 Jul 1999 12:20:25 -0400

I was out doing some geosync observing last night (7/10-11). I have
been using SatSpy 3.0, which really isn't designed for this, but is
adequate if you're a casual observer. At one point I had four sats
in the same 50x field (just under 1 degree) in my 4.5-inch
reflector. These were DBS1, DBS2, DBS3, and AMCS-1 (there was a
fifth that should have been in the group, ASC2, but I didn't see
it). Magnitude estimates for the ones I spotted:

INTELSAT 7F6: 10.5
GOES 8: 12.5
98063B: 12.0
98006A: 11.2
97002A: 12.4
TELSTAR 402R: 11.6
ACTS: 10.8
DBS1: 11.5
DBS2: 11.4
DBS3: 11.6
AMCS-1: 11.2

>From my latitude (40.9N) this time of year, I can simply set the
scope on the southern edge of M11 in Scutum (which is beautiful to
look at anyway), and catch them as they pass by, if I scan around a
little. I also caught a polar orbiting high-flyer passing through
that must have been way up there, because it was moving about the
same speed against the stars, but didn't bother to try to identify
it.

Regarding Globalstar rockets, 36 (99004E, a Soyuz) is tumbling at
about 8 seconds, and 52 (99031E, a Delta) is steady.

ABRIXAS rocket (99022C) exhibited a strange winking behavior (at
about 2.5 winks per second) on the sunward side of its pass, but
became steady going away from culmination, at magnitude 5.5.

Eric Vondra
Wampum, PA, USA
40.9N 80.3W