Intelsat 512, Orion 3, USA 102

From: Ed Cannon (
Date: Tue Jul 24 2001 - 03:26:33 PDT

  • Next message: Tony Beresford: "july 24 observation"

    Last night in mediocre, partly cloudy conditions from the middle
    of town, I saw what I'm fairly certain were flashes from Intelsat
    512 (16101, 85-087A).  They were +4, easy to see in 10x50 binocs.
    Thanks to Björn Gimle for suggesting when to look -- it seems to
    have been a right-on suggestion.  The flashes I saw were just 
    before 3:00 July 24 UTC.  If I understand correctly, Björn says
    that it flashes later east of Texas and earlier west of Texas, and 
    its flashes are about 15 minutes later each night.  It's fairly 
    similar to Superbird A, in that it flashes brightly but only for a 
    few minutes each night.  The flash period was about 26.9 seconds, 
    which seems to be half periods relative to previous apparitions.
    Orion 3's (25727, 99-024A) first pass, with the bright flashes, 
    will be in fairly bright twilight here tonight.  Maybe people east 
    of here will see it?
    After two nights of great one-power passes of USA 102 (23031, 
    94-017B), when it looked very much like a tumbling Iridium, last
    night I failed to see it!
    Ed Cannon - - Austin, Texas, USA
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