Iridiums 11, 21, 20(18), 15, et al.

Ed Cannon (
Tue, 16 Jun 1998 03:43:48 -0500

One-power observations Tuesday evening (early 16 June UTC), from 
the Univ. of Texas at Austin campus, 30.286N, 97.739W, 152m (poor
location).  (And I stranded myself without a digital timepiece, 
so the times are rough, to say the least.)

Iridium 11 -- one very bright flash a bit after culmination at 
about 2:23:40 (?).  (There may have been more to see, but while 
I was trying to watch it, a couple of people asked me what I was 
looking at....)

Iridium 21 -- visible for quite a while beginning after its 
2:40:44 culmination; reached at least zero magnitude with a sort 
of double-max flare-like appearance pretty close to 2:42:00.  It
began to dim, so I wrote down the time.  Then when I looked up
again after 3-4 seconds, it was bright again.  Then it remained
visible for quite a few more seconds.  This seemed more like a 
flare than a tumble.  To the best of my recollection, this was 
the first time that I've seen Iridium 21 at one-power.

Iridium 20 (24871, a.k.a. Ir 18) -- eight bright one-per-second
flashes that ended about 2:54:45 (very near its culmination).

Iridium 15 -- flared as predicted by Iridflar (+1).

Other fun things:

Meteor 1-4 Rk (04394, 70-37B) chased down Cosmos 2297 Rk (23405,
94-77B); their closest approach was about 4 or 5 degrees 
separation at 2:39:49.

USA 81 (21949, 97-30G) -- again visible sparkling at one-power.

Cosmos 673 Rk (07418, 74-66B) -- bright, maybe at least +1.5.

Nice pass of Mir in twilight (solar elev. -6 deg.).

18 objects seen at one-power -- really nice night!

Ed Cannon -- -- Austin, Texas, USA