Observations, 18 July, Early UT

From: Jonathan T Wojack (tlj18@juno.com)
Date: Thu Jul 18 2002 - 00:28:06 EDT

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    While focusing my binoculars, I saw Okean-O (25860) passing south to
    west, steady at magnitude +4.5.
    I saw the satellite I intended to see, the Meteor 3M Rk (27006).  It is a
    flasher, but I was unable to time it, because it was too faint to see
    very clearly.  The maxima came to about +4, and the minima was around +7
    or so.  It was in a hazy area of the sky, where only one star in Cygnus
    (Deneb) was visible naked-eye.  Flash pattern:
    flash-[1 second at minima]-3 fast flashes in a little less than a
    second-[1 second at minima]
    I was unable to see the passage of USA 81 (21949), which was not
    surprising, considering that it was predicted to be at a "brightness"
    (+7.7) that was at my normal limits of perception in 7x35's, and the sky
    was very hazy tonight (maybe 20 stars total visible naked-eye).  That's
    what you get when you have daytime temperatures near 100 degrees F.
    I saw the next pass of the Meteor 3M Rk (27006).  It was about a
    magnitude fainter this time around the world.  I did not see the fast
    flashes this time; it was just flashing on and off, with a period of
    about one second.  Just as I was about to time it, it disappeared.
    The NOSS 2-1 trio was seen in binoculars!  First time I've seen one of
    the trios.  The two "vertical" members were around +4, and the "outlier"
    was about +3.  Really nice.  Would've been even nicer if they were in a
    lower orbit (i.e., greater angular speed).  Nevertheless, it was still
    very nice.  I made this sighting a few minutes after local midnight.  The
    sky was now a little darker, and the haze was beginning to lift a little
    bit.  But it just isn't right when you have to squint to see the stars
    that make up the Big Dipper....
    P.S.:  The mosquitoes were out in full force tonight.  Last night, which
    was less hazy, there were no mosquitoes to speak of.  Is there any
    connection between atmospheric moisture and mosquitoes (just curious) ? 
    Please respond to this question to me privately, as it is certainly
    Jonathan T. Wojack             tlj18@juno.com
    39.706d N   75.683d W   4 hours behind UT (-4)
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    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 18 2002 - 00:36:37 EDT