FW: How visible are flares???

MALEY, PAUL D. (paul.d.maley1@jsc.nasa.gov)
Wed, 27 May 1998 08:26:31 -0500

Based on the message below, and the responses from other SEESAT folks, it is
important to know and report one's location exactly when reporting
observations. Though a flare can be observed 100 or more kilometers from the
central flare zone, it doesn't take much of an error in longitude
(primarily) to alter the outcome of a prediction.  I would like again to
remind conscientious observers who make Iridium magnitude estimates to
please report them to me per recent posted formats so true deviations in
predicted and observed maximum brightnesses can be assessed.

thanks,
Paul

Paul D. Maley
United Space Alliance
DO5/Cargo Operations
NASA Johnson Space Center
Houston TX 77058 USA

tel. 281-244-0208
email: paul.d.maley1@jsc.nasa.gov
latitude 29.6049 north, longitude 95.1086 west

> ----------
> From: 	Stephmon[SMTP:Stephmon@aol.com]
> Sent: 	Tuesday, May 26, 1998 8:03 PM
> To: 	SeeSat-L@cds.plasma.mpe-garching.mpg.de
> Subject: 	Re: How visible are flares???
> 
> In a message dated 5/26/98 7:48:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
> etroy@aeroconsult.com writes:
> 
> << I've been watching this list for a while now, and I've been trying to
> see
>  the flares, but, so far, to no avail.  >>
> 
> In the past few weeks, I've noticed that quite a number of predicted
> flares
> have been either drastically below expectation, or nonevents entirely.  I
> have
> been able to locate the satellite in each instance, but the flares just
> haven't been what I've seen in the past.  I wonder if the column of smoke
> from
> the wildfires in Mexico reaches high enough in the atmosphere to
> artificially
> "eclipse" the flare events.  Any thoughts?
> 
> Last night, for example at 01:57:40 UTC, I observed Iridium 16 from
> 28.38N,
> 81.35W (Orlando Florida).  The eastern half of the sky was obscured by
> smoke/haze, but the western sky was clear.  I watched Iridium 16
> practically
> horizon to horizon, and it never topped Mag 2 (predicted flare was -1).
> Cosmos 2347 made a similar pass at 01:10:09 and was noticeably brighter at
> ~Mag 1.5    I've observed at least 2 similar incidents with predicted
> flare
> values of Mag -3 and -4 (brightness never exceeded the satellites
> 'inherent'
> visibility by more than ~0.5).
> 
> Regards,
> Stephen
> http://fathom.org/Stephen
>