Observation Jun 15

From: Denis V. Denissenko (denis@hea.iki.rssi.ru)
Date: Fri Jun 15 2001 - 16:30:01 PDT

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    Hello from Moscow!
    We had 4 bright Iridium flares this week, three of them during last 3
    hours: -4.7 in Leo at 23:25 Mosow Summer Time (UT+0400), -8.0 in Bootes
    at 00:42 and -8.4 at 02:18 underneath Lyra!  Sky has cleared in the
    afternoon with scenic sunset and thin cirrus clouds left.  First flare
    was with the Sun only 6 degrees under horizon and I even failed to spot
    Regulus before the event - Arcturus and Vega were the only stars
    visible.  But the flare of Iridium 31 materialized.  No photo was made.
    Second flare of the night - Iridium 34 - was under the stars Epsilon and
    Rho Boo and I took a photograph from my "backyard".  Minus 8 mag is very
    impressive even in June though I've seen real bright flares in the
    darker skies many times before.
    After searching for fellow satellite observers among ICQ users (are
    there any on this list?!?) I went out to shoot the last and the best
    flare of the night and to my surprise found that some idiots have set
    two litter containers on fire!!!  It was too late to go searching for a
    darker place so I set up my tripod and made the exposure blocking the
    camera from the sparks with my own self. :-)  Still enjoyed the huge
    Iridium 56 flare right underneath Beta and Gamma Lyrae with the
    satellite having passed between them in 10 seconds after the peak.
    In two minutes and a half Cosmos 1043 Rocket almost followed Iridium's
    path but was moving faster and didn't score the goal (I mean those two
    stars). :-)  It was also photographed but I don't expect anything
    interesting on Kodak 400 film with its mag of 3-3.5.
    No need to mention that while I was taking the last exposure, firemen
    car arrived which have added more light to the landscape. :-)
    Well, let's wait for images to get processed and printed.  We have
    another triade of -3, -8 and -7 mag flares during one night of June
    20/21 (at 00:21, 01:57 and 03:34 MST) - again in 5 days from now just
    like the previous trio of Iridium 59, 8 and 12 on June 10/11 (the second
    flare of which was observed by Igor Lissov).  The scanned photos will
    appear on http://hea.iki.rssi.ru/~denis/iridmsk.html as usual.
    Clear skies,
    ICQ # 5538455
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    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Fri Jun 15 2001 - 16:30:56 PDT