Re: Unknown Flare and others

From: Wayne Hughes (hughes@dogwood.botany.uga.edu)
Date: Wed Jun 07 2000 - 06:47:41 PDT

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    FYI:
    
    On May 19 Mike Bevan wrote about observing a flare which turned out to be NOAA
    9.  Last night (6.6.00 local) I was startled by  a long, 15 second flare in the
    northeast.  It peaked at about -4, dimmed somewhat and then peaked again before
    fading out.   I observed it at 02:30:45 UT about 1/3  Eltanin to Rastaban in
    Draco's head.  Findsat identified it as 19531/1988-089A  NOAA 11.
    
    On May 31 2000   03:50:00 UT at RA 20h 2' dec 53.5 deg  I observed a similarly
    bright flare of shorter duration that Findsat identified as 19336/1988-064A
    Meteor 3-2.  Are Meteor satellites of this vintage known to flare?
    
    Someone asked about GPS satellites a few days ago:
    Although not a flare exactly, I searched for and observed Cosmos 1947 (Glonass,
    19164/1988-0438).   With a RCS of 0.9 and a range of 20,000 km it should have
    been mag 14, but appeared to be at least 3 orders of magnitude brighter
    sustained over several minutes of observation.  Took about 1.5 minutes to move
    across the 1 deg FOV so it was definitely not a LEO.
    
    On the downside I searched for but did not find  several other Mean Motion of
    Two satellites with RCS in the neighborhood of 10-50; should have been mag 10-11
    at locations near the zenith and therefore easily observed with scope.   These
    no-shows included:
    GPS 2-12 (21840/1992-009A),
    Cosmos 2318 (23672/1995-037C),
    Cosmos 2081 (Glonass, 20621/1990-045C),
    Cosmos 2323 (Glonass, 23736/1995-068C), and
    Cosmos 1971 (Glonass, 19502/1988-085B) .
    
    The Pushed Limit in excellent mag6 limiting skies was the soon-to-decay mag 8 or
    so Pegasus Deb 1990-029GW fragment of RCS 0.08 zooming past at a range of 460
    km, bright, fast, and right on schedule.
    
    
    Wayne
    33.860N, 83.242W
    
    
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