Re: Flaring geosats soon for far north

From: Bram Dorreman (bram.dorreman@skynet.be)
Date: Tue Mar 09 2004 - 15:00:09 EST

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    Ed,
    
    Last fortnight the observing circumstances were very bad in our countries.
    Most nights it was cloudy.
    Last week I tried two nights, when it looked better.
    However the moon was decreasing the contrast by illuminating thin cloud
    layers.
    My target area of the geosat belt near the earth shadow did not show any
    background star.
    Therefore I can only report a negative observation.
    
    I hope it will be better near the autumnal equinox.
    -----Original Message-----
    From: Ed Cannon <ecannon@mail.utexas.edu>
    To: seesat-l@satobs.org <seesat-l@satobs.org>
    Date: woensdag 11 februari 2004 6:27
    Subject: Flaring geosats soon for far north
    
    
    >Last year Bram Dorreman (51 north) was observing flaring geosats
    >about ten days from now:
    >
    >http://satobs.org/seesat/Mar-2003/0111.html
    >
    >Time to plan ahead -- and hope for clear weather!  Ron Welch
    >pointed out to me that this time the Moon will hamper observing
    >them from around 35 north and south latitudes.
    >
    >Richard Clark sent a message with the formula for calculating
    >the peak dates for a given latitude, but there is a fair amount
    >of leeway, as the satellites aren't kept in extremely strict
    >orientations.  We've seen them here up to at least ten days
    >before or after the predicted peak date:
    >
    >http://satobs.org/seesat/Mar-2001/0030.html
    >
    >For new folks, flaring geosats (flaring geosynchs, not flashing
    >but flaring) can be seen with 10x50 binoculars near the
    >equinoxes.  I hope to see about as many with my nice new 8x42.
    >A very few can be seen without binoculars!  Here's Björn Gimle's
    >page about this phenomenon:
    >
    >http://www.algonet.se/~b_gimle/geoflare.htm
    >
    >Europeans have the good fortune to be able to see the Astra
    >and Hotbird clusters:
    >
    >http://www.eurastro.de/observ/mr/GEOSTAT.HTM
    >
    >The great photo George Roberts reported the other day was the
    >Astra cluster; it's worthy of repeating!
    >
    >http://aida.astronomie.info/sposetti/index.php/fireworks.jpg.php
    >
    >On March 13, 2002, we did a marathon session observing them.
    >Mike McCants would find one or two or three in one FOV, then
    >move on a little farther west along the Clarke belt.  He
    >counted about 60 objects (a handful not operational payloads)
    >by the time we quit about 2:00 AM local time.  Many of the
    >flaring ones were visible in my 10x50 binoculars.  Around 101
    >degrees west longitude, there are five that can been seen in
    >one FOV (if it's large enough and they're all bright enough),
    >and they should be visible from most of North America.
    >
    >The following page has links to images of a wide section of
    >the Clarke belt taken from Arizona using a very long exposure,
    >not when they were flaring:
    >
    >http://www.noao.edu/outreach/press/pr01/0106images.html
    >
    >Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas, USA
    >
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