Very strange MIR pass

rkresken@esoc.esa.de
Thu, 15 Jul 1999 12:54:53 +0100

Dear Seesaters,
Last night (15th July), I had a very strange MIR pass around
22:26 UT. Circumstances were quite adverse. First, I had to
bail out of the house to see it at all. Then I recognized that the
sky was partly cloudy so I would only see a part of the pass.
When I saw Mir, I recognized that  it was brighter than usual
and brighter than predicted, I estimated about -2 mag.
Than the brightness changed periodically by several
magnitudes! The period was several seconds, I was just
to overwhelmed to make a decent measurement. I cannot
completely rule out that the brightness changes were caused
by clouds but it seems highly unlikely to me. I live in a light
polluted region and could clearly distinguish clouded and
clear regions in the sky. Has anybody seen Mir in last 24hours
and recognized something unusual like this?


Rainer Kresken
Darmstadt, Germany 49.82N, 8.64E