Re: Photographed Iridium 33 wreckage, glinting to +4

From: Francisco Ocaņa (albireo3000@yahoo.es)
Date: Sun Mar 15 2009 - 22:12:04 UTC

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    Hi List,
    
    tonight I observed some satellites ( included Iridium 33):
    
    I used Simone's prediction ( http://digilander.libero.it/SATrack/ ) for 
    the USA 173 (NOSS 3-2) and looked for a possible flare, althought the 
    centre of the track passed 100-150km away. At the same time (around 
    19:25 UTC, the same pass that Marco says) Iridium 33 was also above the 
    horizon. The conditions were not very good. The sky was not completely 
    dark yet, and my LM was around 2,5. I observed USA 173 through the 
    binos, it was around magnitude 5 and arrived without delay. I am almost 
    sure that it did not flare ( at least brigther than magnitude 1 or 0). 
    Also Iridium 33 had a normal behavior, not flaring. I couldnīt see it 
    neither with naked eye nor with the binos (it was a bit low, and the sky 
    hazy).
    
    Around 15 minutes later, the ISS came. It saw it at -2,5 at the zenith 
    and later it dissapeared in the Earthīs shadow. Amazing!
    
    At 22:00 UTC began a second Iridium 33 pass, but with a Simone's flare 
    prediction for Madrid, Spain. I saw a really short glint (as quick as a 
    meteor or a blink, maybe 0,1-0,2s long). I was pretty surprised and 
    excited. It attracted my attention, and was clearly brighter than 
    Orion's stars, even than Sirius, so I would estimate it around -3. It 
    was unexpectly short so I couldnīt compare with the stars.
    
    Best,
    
    Paco Ocaņa
    Madrid, Spain
    
    Marco Langbroek escribió:
    >
    > Hi all,
    >
    > I managed to photograph a pass of the Iridium 33 wreckage (97-051C), 
    > including a modest glint to mag +4, which I also observed with the 
    > naked eye. The glint was at about 19:29:51 UTC (15 March).
    >
    > Image can be seen here:
    >
    > http://sattrackcam.blogspot.com/2009/03/iridium-33-wreckage-photographed-with-4.html 
    >
    >
    > The trail is very faint but visible and notably irregular. I used my 
    > new Canon EF 100/2.8 USM Macro lens for this: it has a larger aperture 
    > than the EF 50/2.5 I normally use for my satellite imagery and hence 
    > performs better on faint objects.
    >
    > - Marco
    >
    > -----
    > Dr Marco Langbroek  -  SatTrackCam Leiden, the Netherlands.
    > e-mail: sattrackcam@wanadoo.nl
    >
    > Cospar 4353 (Leiden):   52.15412 N, 4.49081 E (WGS84), +0 m ASL
    > Cospar 4354 (De Wilck): 52.11685 N, 4.56016 E (WGS84), -2 m ASL
    > SatTrackCam: http://home.wanadoo.nl/marco.langbroek/satcam.html
    > Station (b)log: http://sattrackcam.blogspot.com
    > -----
    >
    > -
    
    
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