Obs early on 1 June 97

Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Mon, 02 Jun 1997 03:03:39 -0500

[This was sent about 24 hours ago but appears not to have gotten
through to SeeSat, so I'm sending it again.  Please pardon me if
it turns up twice!]

Sue Worden and I observed from shortly after 2:00 UT on 1 June to 
about 4:45 UT or so.  No telescope.  It was a perfect evening for 
observing.  We were able to see 5 or 6 of the stars in Ursa Minor.  
Our location was 30.315N, 97.866W, 280m (Bee Cave Research Center, 
Austin, Texas).

Gorizont 23 (91-46A/21533) -- located about 4:15 UT using star 
charts and binoculars.  I timed 30 periods with elapsed time of 
26:42.07, for 53.4023 seconds per period.  This was simply by 
starting the stopwatch, letting it run, and stopping it on the 
30th period.  I do not know how accurate my stopwatch is, plus I 
was around .1 second late on the stop click.  The flashes were 
easy in my 10x and Sue's 7x binocs (mag. 5 or a little brighter; 
brevity of flashes makes estimation a bit uncertain).  (A couple 
of nights ago, Mike and I noticed that for a little while at least 
the flashes were fainter.)

Cosmos 2343 (97-024A/24805) -- observed without magnification; pass
was 608 km distant from our location, 238 km (149 miles) height.

97-017B/24773 (a CIS Rk) -- near-zenith pass, observed without
magnification; observed to be flashing, but not visible for long
enough to get a period estimate -- it quickly went into shadow.
Sue may have observed it longer than I.  (What is 97-017A/24772?)

Resurs 01-3 Rk (94-074B/23343) -- very bright pass, brightest peaks 
of mag. between one and zero.  Just over a year ago in the PPAS 
database its period is listed as 7.9 sec.  My observation was 3
periods (4 maxima) in approximately 3 to 4 minutes (60 to 80 seconds
per period).  I don't know if this was a phase effect or what, but I 
question whether it could have slowed down that much in a year.

Mir -- two passes; the first pass, between 25 and 36 degrees 
altitude above horizon, from south to east, was SPECTACULAR!!  I 
would have said mag. -3 at least; Sue said comparable to Jupiter 
at its brightest (-2.x?).  There was one even brighter flash.  The 
next pass, low in northwest, was easy without magnification.

Lacrosse 2 (91-017A/21147) -- pretty good pass from WSW to NW.

HST (90-037B/20580) -- fainter than predicted, but one brighter 

Several other objects observed as well.  A great night.

I had a Highfly prediction for a Delta 2 R/B(2) (96-056C/24321) at
a height of 218 km (136 miles; range 589 km/368 miles) but failed 
to see it.

Ed Cannon
Austin, Texas, USA
30.3086N, 97.7279W, 165m