Re: Almost time for flaring GEOSATS

From: Ron Lee (
Date: Sat Mar 03 2001 - 10:51:34 PST

  • Next message: Alan Pickup: "Decay watch: 2001 Mar 3"

    >The ideal value of solar declination for any latitude is given by
    >               -.1511 sin(lat)
    >tan(decln) = ------------------
    >             1 - .1511 cos(lat)
    >Richard Clark
    Based on this formula, I get 4 Mar and 8 Oct.  Since I saw six on 5 Oct 99
    with binoculars, there is some leeway.  I guess I should try again soon.
    I did look for about 15 minutes last night but there may not have been
    any that bright during such a short obs period.
    For folks wanting to try looking for geosats under these conditions, I found
    one that may be an easy target.  Here is the report:
    I received a private email questioning the magnitude of 
    Intelsat 7F6 (or 706?), #23571, when I observed it last 
    night.  My response was about 11th magnitude and that was
    just a guess.   I realized the obs report left a lot to 
    be desired so tonight I again observed it.
    At 01:42 UT on 21 Oct 99 I judged the magnitude to be in the
    10.5 - 11 range.  I then determined where it would be when 
    opposite the Sun's RA and observed it again between 02:47
    and 02:53 UT.  RA 1h 37 min (J2000). Magnitude as it passed
    a star of magnitude 7.3 was essentially equal to that star.
    Thus it flared about three (3) magnitudes.  There was no
    shadow entry/exit since it was south of the earth's shadow.
    I like this satellite since I have found it every time I tried
    and its location low in the east sky means that I do not have
    to stay up past my bedtime to observe it opposite the Sun.
    Ron Lee
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