Iridiums and a few others, 11 and 12 June UTC

Ed Cannon (
Fri, 12 Jun 1998 01:02:32 -0500

I'm going to be offline for a couple of days and wanted to 
post beforehand a few one-power observations, made in spite of 
variable clouds, from about 30.3086N, 97.7279W, 150m.

Wednesday evening (11 June UTC):  

Iridium 11 flashes, about 2:11:18, 2:11:30 and 35, 2:12:11
(and a couple of illegible times after that -- trying to write
while watching it), and 2:13:17.  A couple of the earlier 
flashes were slower, perhaps one-third to one-half second long.

Iridium 20 (#24871, a.k.a. 18), 4 out of 5 flashes (1, 2, 3, 
and 5 -- 4 was behind a little cloud) at around 4:02:55.

Sakura 1A Rk (10517, 77-118B), two nights in a row, easy one-
power (+2?).

USA 81 (21949, 92-23A), sparkling to about +2.5, second night.

Seasat (10967, 78-64A), another very bright pass, still visible
more than three minutes after culmination.

Thursday evening (12 June UTC):

USA 81, third night in a row, some cloud interference this time, 
not quite as bright.

Seasat again (no prediction, identified later), while I was 
waiting for Iridium 42.  (I only got predictions for 3.0 or
brighter due to the variable cloudiness.)

Iridium 42 -- a beautiful monster flare; certainly seemed to 
reach the predicted -8.  Wow!

Iridium 20 (#24871, a.k.a. 18), seven flashes (up to -1?), about 
one second apart (possibly a bit faster?), around 3:29:00-10, 
just a few seconds before the flare time (3:29:15) predicted for 
it by Iridflar.  It sure appears to me that this one is in close 
to the correct vertical orientation but is rotating around its 
vertical axis.  So it flashes a few times in succession very near 
the time it would flare if it were operational.

Ed Cannon -- -- Austin, Texas, USA