Re: Obs of Gorizont 23 (21533, 91 46A)

Ed Cannon (
Mon, 19 May 1997 03:48:38 -0500

Here's a little addendum on Mike McCants' report of obs of 
Gorizont 23 (21533, 91 46A).  It was easy to see in my 10x50 
binoculars; the trick, since it's invisible almost all the 
time, is to get them pointed at the right location!  Actually, 
in a dark sky, the flashes may be visible to the naked eye.  
At least some of them may have been brighter than 5.  Also, 
we were looking at it at 21 degrees altitude directly over 
Austin's city glow, and with the light of more than 1/4 moon.

We also observed a steady mag. 2.5 object for what seemed 
like a half-minute or so to me that exactly fit -- Mike has
assured me -- in time, location, velocity and direction of 
motion, a portion of the track of a prediction he had for HST 
Solar Array (22920/90 37C).  In the quicksat.mag file is a 
notation that it can flash to mag. 3; its flash period in 
October 1995 was 17.2 seconds.  My guess is that we observed 
it during a slow tumble that managed to keep the "good side" 
well-positioned so that we saw a very long-lived specular 
flash.  In the PPAS database, there's a report from Mike of 
one or more flashes as bright as +2 on 24 Aug 1994.

Ed Cannon
Austin, Texas, USA
30.3086N, 97.7279W, 165m