Milstar 3 Centaur easy one-power

Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Thu, 10 Jun 1999 05:08:15 -0500

Just a while ago I was able to easily observe the Milstar 3
Centaur (25725, 99-23B) at one-power for a couple of minutes.  
I'd say it was brighter than +3.0 for at least a minute.  
The range was less than 1,600 km, and phase angle was very
good.  It's tumbling rapidly but doesn't seem to vary more 
than about one mag. between maxima and minima.  Watching 
with binoculars I counted two sets of 50 cycles ... and then 
found I had been clicking the wrong button on my stopwatch!  
Oh well, it'll be coming around a few more times....

Last night (just before midnight local time) I wasn't able 
to find Milstar 3, so I'm going to try again, if the sky is 
clear enough, on the better pass that's due pretty soon.

Someone posted a spectacular observation entitled "What did 
I see?" on the newsgroup.  It sounds like a wildly flashing
Iridium or SPOT 3 or something like that but seems to match 
pretty closely in time and direction with Cosmos 1441 (13818,
83-10A).  Has anyone seen Cosmos 1441 behaving in that way?

Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas, USA