Iridium 73: -4 flare, wrong situation

From: Ed Cannon (
Date: Thu Jun 17 2004 - 06:19:01 EDT

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    Mike, Fred, and I all saw Iridium 73 (98-032C, 25344) do a 
    -4 flare that lasted several seconds.  It was southbound high 
    in the SSW, but all of the regular, predicted flares last 
    night were not in that part of the sky at all.  Back in 2000 
    and 2001 there was discussion of such anomalies with this one.  
    If there are reports of an odd phenomenon in the sky last 
    night over South America, it may have been a burn from the 
    Proton launch yesterday.  I asked Mike if any of its long 
    burns might be visible, and he gave me a small tutorial in 
    figuring such things out, as much as possible, from 
    information in the Spaceflightnow mission status reports 
    about the launch.
    Ed Cannon - - Austin, Texas, USA
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