All 4 TRMM launch objects obs 11/29

Craig Cholar (3432P@VM1.CC.NPS.NAVY.MIL)
Sat, 29 Nov 97 06:30:44 PST

All 4 objects associated with the TRMM launch were observed Saturday,
despite marginal weather conditions (scudding low clouds & patchy fog).

Accurate magnitude estimates weren't practical because of the conditions,
so I'll just compare the brightness of each object to each other.  All
four can easily be seen without optical aid, at least from my latitude.

25063 (97074A) appeared first, exiting shadow just above Alphard (alpha Hya)
at 1322 UT 11/29.   It ended up being the brightest of the four, and was
steady.  Max alt. was 47 deg.

25066 (97074D) was next, and exhibited a solitary bright flash.  It was
slowly tumbling, or clouds were interfering, I'm not sure which.  Max
alt. was also 47 deg.  It seemed quite a bit closer to 25063 than
predicted, but I was using the aging elsets that are still on OIG as I
write this.

26065 (97074C) culminated at 14:01:20,  36 deg above the s. horizon.  It
was the 2nd brightest object of the four, and very easy to see without
optical aid.  It was tumbling, with roughly an 11 to 12 second period
(timed in my head, so no subsecond splits here!).

25064 (97074B) brought up the rear, and was the dimmest.  It appeared
steady during the brief glimpse I had.  Conditions were getting worse,
with high mist dimming many nearby stars.  Max alt. was 35 deg.

Well, that's it.  Sorry for the less than exact observations.  Did
anyone in S. Calif. see these passes?  The weather looked better
there on the IR satellite photos.

 Craig Cholar    3432P@VM1.CC.NPS.NAVY.MIL
 Marina, California
 36 41 10.3N,  121 48 17.9W    (36.6862, -121.8050)      UTC -8