Raduga 33

From: Stephen E Bolton (sbolton@nbnet.nb.ca)
Date: Mon May 03 2004 - 19:19:41 EDT

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    Ted Molczan wrote:
    {I sent an earlier version of this message twice about 5 h ago, which have
    failed to appear - TJM]
    Although Raduga 33 is in shadow during its passages through perigee, it may
    be sufficiently low to glow due to atmospheric heating.
    Coincidentally, its rocket body did just that, back in August of 1996, as
    observed by Stephen Bolton:
    "The sat was at max brightness, approx -2, just prior to U. Maj. and before
    reaching max elevation above local horizon. Then appeared to slowly dim but
    remained visible with binoculars and glowing to loss near the NE horizon."
    Stephen was fortunate to observe the object about 30 s after its passage
    through perigee, about 97 km above the Earth.
    Unfortunately I am not so fortunate this time as I have been clouded out.
    But I want to encourage all of you with clear skies to get out and see this
    object. An atmospheric grazer in a strongly elliptical orbit is a
    spectacular object and I was lucky to see one in 1996. There is a relative
    infrequency of these objects in our northern latitudes.
    Ted - could I ask for a favor - a set of predictions for Tuesday night (I am
    without a tracking program)?
    Steve Bolton
    Lat 45.432N
    Long 65.976W
    El 50m
    Local time UT-3
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