Ir51 & 36 flare-pair

From: Matson, Robert (
Date: Thu Jun 08 2000 - 10:29:33 PDT

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    Hi John,
    > WOW and Thank you Motorola!!  What a breathtaking 2 minutes we just
    enjoyed here
    > in the mountains of Southern California. ... 
    I also saw the Iridium 51 and 36 tagteam from Newport Coast, though
    the magnitudes were dimmer at my more westerly location.
    > Anyone able to say, not speculate, why these two were soooo close? 
    Iridium 51 (note the ? status in IRIDIUM.TXT at Mike McCants site)
    is a spare in a slightly lower orbit.  So it is constantly overtaking
    the operational satellites, lapping each satellite in its plane in
    a little over 12 days.  --Rob 
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