Iridium 26 obs?

From: Matson, Robert (ROBERT.D.MATSON@saic.com)
Date: Fri May 05 2000 - 11:34:07 PDT

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    Hi Suhas,
    
    You wrote;
    
    > Today (4th May) at 20:31 LT ( 15:01 UT) saw the Iridium 26 as predicted by
    > Heavens above. About 4 to 5 flashes of -5 to -4 magnitude reddish in
    color.
    
    Hmmm -- I don't think you saw Iridium 26 based on this
    observation.  Iridium 26 is not a tumbler, so it shouldn't
    have been flashing.  It would have been a nominal flare at
    best (perhaps magnitude +2), as it entered shadow just as
    it was flaring.  (Umbra entry at 15:01:23).  Perhaps you
    saw an airplane; a tumbling Iridium's flashes are white.
    
    There is a remote possibility that Iridium 26 has just
    failed (someone could check the MM to see if it has
    changed in the last couple days), and that coupled with
    the penumbral entry could lead to orange or red flashes.
    If so, I congratulate you on a very rare observation!
    
    > Also saw Iridium 77 and 42 at predicted time of 5:21 and 5:22 a.m. LT  on
    > 5th May (23:51 and 23:52 UT on 4th May). Iridium 42 was so bright that I
    got
    > one report from nearby place Bhosari of seeing Fire ball. (The person
    > reporting was unaware of Iridiums).
    
    These indeed were both predicted to be bright negative
    magnitude flares, and practically along the same track.
    
    Cheers,
    Rob
    
    
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