Flaring geosats seen with small binoculars

From: Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Date: Wed Mar 02 2005 - 03:29:53 EST

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    Monday evening (early March 1 UTC), with very nice weather, 
    Mike and Fred and I went to BCRC (30.315N, 97.866W, 280m) 
    -- Mike with the 8-inch (20cm) scope, Fred with his 7x50 
    binocular, and I with 8x42 Orion Ultraview.  Fred has got 
    the knack for spotting flaring geosats now and saw a few 
    before Mike and I did.  Thanks to Mike for the on-site 
    IDs!  Here are the ones I saw with binoculars (and managed 
    to write down on site and/or at least remember after 
    getting home):
    Cat.# COSPAR# Common Name
    24714 97-002B Nahuel 1A
    25371 98-037A Intelsat 805
    26761 01-018A XM-1
    27426 02-023A DirecTV 5
    28137 04-001A Telstar 14
    28526 05-003A AMC-12
    Technically, the peak date for flaring geosats at our 
    latitude was still at least a week away, so seeing these
    illustrates that the season is, at our latitude at least, 
    a couple of weeks or so in duration.
    Two or three times as many as above were visible in 
    Mike's telescope at "medium power" (about 55x I think), 
    and this was not a long session, as we closed down a 
    little after 11:00 PM local time.
    Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas, USA
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