WIRE and Others

Sun, 7 Mar 1999 21:01:07 EST

WIRE is one of the more interesting flashers.   I counted 100 flashes in 64.6
seconds +/- 0.5 sec.   The flashes seem to come in pairs: a solid, almost 1x
flash followed by (for lack of a better term) a slurred flash.  The slurred
flash is probably a very quick double flash.   Anyway, I counted the solid
flash and the slurred flash as 2 flashes.  My timing began at 23:47:40 UTC
(45az, 45el) and ended near cumulation at 23:48:46 UTC (90az, 62el). I'll
convert this to the standard format e-mail the obs to Kurt.

The ISS  made a nice L->R pass in the due north this evening at 23:59 UTC.
Although the max altitude was only 10 deg, it reached about a 2.0-2.5 mag and
was visible at 1x.

The flaring of Landsat 4 (13367) seems to be getting predictable.  This
evening's flare was at 35az, 20el, northbound and lasted for 25 seconds
beginning at 00:32:00 UTC.  The peak mag during the period that it was 1x was

As noted in a previous posting, Iridium 79 seems to flash like a R/B.  There
was none of the strobe-like flashing common to Iridiums, 20, 27, etc. during
it's R->L pass in the West at 00:40 UTC this evening.  

USA observers note that Iridium 20 (24871) will be making a series of evening
passes this week.  This object generally gives one or two series of flashes
per pass.  Given enough accurate observations, Rob Matson may be able to
modify Iridflar to predict the Iridium 20 flashes with greater accuracy.

TiPS (23937, 00006 NRL) faded in and out of my view about four times beginning
at 00:38:00 for about 40 seconds.   It's peak brightness was about a +6.5 mag.

The Hubble Space Telescope reached a mag 2.0-2.5 as it passed in the South
(15el) at 00:45 UTC.

Don Gardner
Homepage: http://hometown.aol.com/mir16609
39.1796 N,  76.8419 W, 34m ASL