Orion 3, NOSS 2-2; and Galileo IUS (for N. Texas)

From: Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Date: Thu Jul 13 2000 - 02:07:29 PDT

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    A few hours ago Orion 3 (25727, 99-024A) displayed at least 
    four pretty bright flashes, the last one just a couple of
    degrees beneath the Moon.  There might have been more, but I 
    began looking a bit late.  So I'm hoping that its passes for 
    the next two or three nights might be as good as the ones a 
    week or so ago.  Its tumble/flash period seems to have 
    accelerated from about 22.5 to about 22.0 seconds. 
    NOSS 2-2 triplets were one-power again.  Any theories on why 
    they are doing this lately (around here at least) when they 
    are usually +5 or fainter?  (The previous night only one of 
    them seemed that bright.)
    For folks in north Texas and southern Oklahoma (and maybe 
    northern Louisiana and southern Arkansas?), you might look 
    for Galileo IUS, as it's currently making very fast near-
    perigee passes over your area.  The passes recently have 
    been at an orbital height of about 120 miles (190 km).  Last 
    night from here in twilight at about 9:30 p.m. CDT (2:30 UTC) 
    and only about 20 degrees above the northern horizon, it was 
    at least +2 for part of the pass.  Presumably it would be a 
    lot brighter along I-20 (and maybe I-30)!  As its mean motion 
    is just under 5.5, it's doing very similar passes a little 
    bit later every other evening, so the next one will be Friday 
    (CDT).  I believe that it's tumbling slowly, so if it's not 
    very bright at first, keep watching in case it tumbles to a 
    more favorable orientation for your location.  
    IUS R/B(1)
    1 20299U 89084C   00194.54176936  .00113197  46515-7  14683-2 0  5772
    2 20299  34.1590 137.9587 5158738  90.5710 326.0384  5.49898342144888
    Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas, USA
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