Re: Telstar 401

From: Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Date: Mon May 07 2001 - 23:32:55 PDT

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    Floyd Weaver wrote:
    
    >Tonight I believe I may have seen Telstar 401 naked eye for awhile.
    ...
    >Most of the flashes were around mag 0....  First noticed around 
    >02:07 UTC....  ... saw one flash, still around an estimated mag 0 
    >at 2:44.
    ...
    >Estimated az and elv are 225 and 36 
    
    For about 2:00-3:00 May 8 UTC at Floyd's location, I get Telstar 
    401 (93-077A, 22927) at elevation/altitude 37, azimuth 225.  Less 
    than two weeks ago Mike McCants found it -- very faint -- with his 
    telescope and timed its tumble period at just about exactly two 
    minutes.  So it seems to me that this is a very likely match.  The 
    next nearest known flasher appears to be GSTAR 1, alt. 38, az. 223.  
    The last timing I'm aware of at the moment found its period to be 
    about 71 seconds.  Both of them can flash very brightly.  I've 
    seen Telstar 401 without magnification from the middle of the Univ. 
    of Texas at Austin campus, definitely not a dark-sky location.
    
    I can't seem to come up with the data right now, but it seems to me 
    that Telstar 401 flashed a little later each night, at least from 
    here.  Its (main) flash period was just over four minutes when 
    first discovered by the folks in the hot tub in Houston, Texas:
    
    http://www2.satellite.eu.org/seesat/Feb-1999/0394.html
    http://www2.satellite.eu.org/seesat/Mar-1999/0041.html
    
    Floyd, thanks very much for the report!
    
    Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas, USA
    
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