Re: FENGYUN 1C, SHIJIAN 5 and CSL-04 R/B

Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Tue, 11 May 1999 02:36:01 -0500

Don Gardner wrote:

> FENGYUN 1C, SHIJIAN 5 and CSL-04 R/B passed this evening during a 5 minute
> window.

Good passes over Austin, Texas, also.  These were totally new to me.  I
had not had a chance to read any space news in the last couple of days.
I got a new select.tle for Monday evening, and there they were in my 
predictions.
 
> The CSL-04 R/B passed by the tail of the Big Dipper (az60, el60) at about a
> +4.5 mag at 00:55:20 UTC, 11 May.  It seemed to "sparkle" a little, unlike
> your typical R/B

I believe this was 25732, 99-25C.  It was the first to pass over Austin,
about 3.5 minutes ahead of Shijian 5 (25731, 9925B).  At one-power, it 
reached +3 here before culmination and appeared to be varying.  After 
culmination, in binoculars it was definitely tumbling (displaying maxima) 
very rapidly, more than once per second.  I regret not using my stopwatch, 
but I thought it would become too faint more quickly than it did.
 
> FENGYUN 1C and SHIJIAN 5 were in the same FOV in my 12x50s as they passed
> over Spica (az145, el40) at 00:58:30 UTC, 11 May.  FENGYUN 1C flared to a
> +2.5 mag at 01:00:05 UTC, 11 May (az95, el65).

The second one here was Shijian 5, which I estimated at about +5.5 and 
steady in binoculars.  20 seconds later was 25734, 99-25E, CSL-04 
debris E, which I (am pretty sure that I) did not see.  Then 36 seconds 
after Shijian 5 was 25733, 99-25D, CSL-04 debris D; 17 seconds after 
that was 25730, 99-25A, Fengyun 1C.  I saw one of those last two, though
I'm not sure which it was (blush!).  It probably was not the piece of 
debris.  I estimated whichever it was to be about +4.5 in binoculars.

Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas, USA