Re: 25 Jul 99 Delta/Globalstar Update

Randy John (
Sun, 25 Jul 1999 10:17:38 -0700

Thanks Ron,
    That was great!  Just observed the Delta/Globalstar
evasive and depletion burns.  Both appeared on time.
I acquired the satellites while the evasive burn was in
progress.  As Ron stated last time, it was not real impressive
(range 2500 km, elevation 25 degrees).  It looked quite
faint and amorphous (like M31?).  The depletion burn was
the real show (range 3500 km, elevation 9 degrees).
It quickly grew in brightness and then in size.  The shape
started as a Christmas tree which was brightest at the tip
and grew progressively dimmer towards the base.  As it grew
in length the 'tree' began to develop a curve.  The tree
shape diminished as it grew fainter, turning into a faint
fuzz ball about 1 degree in diameter.  It then faded to
nothing.  Total time - 60 seconds.  This was my view through
10x50's but after about 5-10 seconds I took a quick look
naked-eye and was rewarded with a mag 1 object perhaps 1/4
degree in length.  A tiny little arrow point in the sky!
Time to break out those UFO report forms.

When I first acquired the sats I only saw two.  A third 
appeared, went to 1st mag, then faded out of sight in about
30 seconds.  Only one object was visible at depletion.

                Pleasant Hill, CA, USA

p.s.  I just heard on NASA TV that some OMS burns are
planned for the MSX experiment.  I have no idea when and
I have to sleep.