MSX -4 flare; Ofek 5 and Shavit Rk

From: Ed Cannon (
Date: Thu May 30 2002 - 05:55:33 EDT

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    Last night (May 30 UTC) MSX (23851, 96-024A) did a -4 flare 
    at about 3:53:15.4 UTC, which was north of culmination on a 
    northbound pass to our west.  
    Mike McCants got Ofek 5 and its Shavit launch vehicle 
    (02-025A and B, 27435 and 27436) in his telescope.  Neither
    was very bright; the Shavit, observed in twilight, was 
    tumbling.  (I got to see them in the scope.  Thanks, Mike!  
    I wasn't able to find them with my 10x50 binoculars.)
    I got a click on a zero or -1 flash of Raduga 33 (96-010A,
    23794) at about 2:22:46.55, and 64.06 seconds later was
    pretty sure that I saw it do a +3.5 flash.  Apparently this
    was the very end of its bright flashes.
    A TV reporter, along with a photojournalist, from Houston, 
    Texas, met us and followed us to the BCRC site, and there 
    they interviewed Mike about satellite observing.  They were 
    from KPRC-TV2, an NBC affiliate, I believe.  The story may 
    or may not get on the air, but at least there's a 
    possibility.  Mike showed them some satellites with his 
    telescope, and right as they were leaving, they got to see 
    a -2 flare of Iridium 26.  There was quite a bit of thin 
    cloud around, but at least it did not get overcast.
    Ed Cannon - - Austin, Texas, USA
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