Re: Irid 17, two flares for the price of one
Tue, 24 Nov 1998 20:12:18 EST

In a message dated 11/24/98 7:29:56 PM Eastern Standard Time, jhunt@Radix.Net

>  I noted this evening that Iridium 17 (24870/97034B) provided
>  two flares at this location. The first (approx. mag 0) occurred 
>  approximately 10 seconds before the predicted flare (mag -2) 
>  at 23:09:58 UT 24 Nov.
>  I'm sure others have seen this but I haven't. After I saw the first 
>  flare, which I thought was the predicted flare, it made a curtain
>  call about 10 seconds later with the promised mag -2. Nice!

I saw the same Northbound pass a few seconds later.  The flare arrived in the
middle of Cassiopeia at 23:10:10 UT.  It was predicted as a -2.4 but was more
in the -1.5 to -2.0 range. Normally I wait for the object to dim but Iridium
17 stayed at about +1mag for several seconds then flared to a -2.5 mag at
23:10:41.  This was my first double flare as well.  

Some other obs:
Iridium 44 1x flashes: 23:01:48, 23:04:10, 23:04:23 UTC.
Iridium 20 (23:50:38 predicted) 23:49:50, 23:50 47 (both midpoints of 5
flashes).  I believe that there were some other 1x flashes at 23:51-23:52 as I
was recording the flash times.  Time to get a tape recorder.  Any

The MIr was observed a +1 mag for a brief (2 minute) pass beginning at
23:44:00 under the Moon.

It look like the ISS  will have a good visible pass in the predawn (circa
05:47 EST) hours on 30 November for the NE USA.  Even though the orbit
adjustments are over, the time of the predicted pass continues to change with
each passing elset.  The Mir will make good evening passes on Thursday and
Saturday evenings.

Don Gardner
76.8419 W, 39.1796 N,  34m ASL