Tumbling again: 75-027B (Geos 3 Rk)

From: Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Date: Sun Mar 24 2002 - 03:09:06 EST

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    Geos 3 Rk (75-027B, 07735) was was unexpectedly tumbling 
    with a flash period of about 10.8 seconds; some secondary 
    maxima were visible.  The last PPAS report of it tumbling 
    that I've found was in May 1980.  The maxima were long 
    enough to be tricky for me to judge, so for my PPAS report,  
    I estimated a 2-second error factor:
    75- 27 B 02-03-24 03:01:06   EC  151.5 2.0  14 10.8   +4.0->inv
    Gorizont 23 (91-046A, 21533) was easy with 10x50 binoculars 
    in spite of the gibbous Moon.  
    91- 46 A 02-03-24 04:00:26.3 EC 1512.7 0.2  28 54.02  +5.0->inv
    Mike McCants found six geosynchs, still apparently flaring
    even though it's very late in the season for our latitude.
    They were a pair, Galaxy 11 and Nimiq 1, and a foursome, 
    whose IDs I'm not sure of, at about longitude 101 west.  
    (For these four, neither Mike nor I had predictions; Mike 
    found them based on our recollections of their azimuth.)
    OT re: comet.  I'm not sure about other latitudes, but 
    from here Comet 2002 C1 (Ikeya-Zhang-Raymundo) still was 
    easy with 10x50 binoculars even in twilight, and I could
    see it very faintly even without them.  By the way, Paulo 
    Raymundo of Salvador, Brazil, who posted a message here a 
    few days ago, is the third independent co-discoverer of 
    this comet on the same night as Ikeya and Zhang, even 
    though it was several hours later due to Brazil being 
    half of a world away from Japan and China.
    BCRC observing site:  30.315N, 97.866W, 280m.
    Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu
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