Oh what a day!

Marco.Hahn@abo.fi
Mon, 30 Mar 98 23:39:16 +0100

Not only that I got a very promising topic for my thesis and a nice new
room in Kiel, today. No, immediately after the confirmation of the latter=

at 19:15 UTC I log on to OIGs new web site and get elements for the lates=
t
Iridium launch and do some predictions. SkyMap colors one of the paths
very colorful and IridFlar confirmes a quintuple flare of about 1m to 0m
and a maximum brightness some 40 km to the west at 20:30 UTC. I cannot
reach that point in time and the sky is a little bit hazy, but I decide t=
o
drive as far west as I can get in the remaining 40 minutes.

As it happens, I get to Schwesing, 54.47N, 9.12E, and even the visibility=

improves a little bit. Getting my old trusty 8x40 binocular, I do find al=
l
five Iridiums right where the prediction put them, and they extend right
across my field of view. I follow them for the one minute before they
enter Earth's shadow and get a very nice quintuple flare with brightnesse=
s
of about -1 to -2 a few seconds before that. What a sight! Back in the
car, I switch on the radio and the first song just goes "got a feeling
higher than high; this is the real thing." It just fits!

Thanks to everyone helping me with this very unique observation: Ron Lee
(kind of motivation), Don Gardner (early Iridium elsets and USSPACECOM
numbers), OIG for current elsets, Rob Matson (IridFlar and SkyMap), some
unknown artist on the radio.

Hej d=E5, Marco