Re: Iridium 33 Debris observed

Date: Sat Mar 14 2009 - 17:51:40 UTC

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    Greetings Group:
    With clear skies finally allowing visual observing of the Iridium 33 
    fragments, last nights sights were awsome. 
    I used a 12.5" F/6 newtonian reflector @49x, a 1.1 degree field to 
    enjoy their super speed and rotation. 
    I observed 33775 cut through the field like a razor thin meteor, 
    with two maximums and two minumums in rotation in just 2 seconds. 
    Peaking at around 10th magnitude to completely invisible in a flash. Two 
    quick blinks and then gone! WOW!
    Just 9 minutes later I observed 33774 just 32 minutes from Pollux 
    which was much easier. This was completly visible crossing the entire 
    field reaching 3 maximums and 2 minumums before leaving the field of 
    view. It was much wider and brighter then 33775, perhaps a 7th to 9th 
    magnitude object. 
    An hour later held the faintest object of the night, 33773. This was 
    hampered by haze and very low, but still quite the sight to top off the 
    night. Again I observed two maximums. 
    Observers with telescopes with fields of view from 1-2 degrees will 
    delight in these objects and are not to be missed. Predicted clear 
    skies might find more of these in the eyepiece tonight. 
    Lawrence Garrett
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