Flashes from Eutelsat 1-4

From: Mike McCants (mmccants@io.com)
Date: Mon Nov 21 2005 - 17:21:28 EST

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    This object, EutelSat 1-4, (ECS 4), NCat 18351, 1987-78B was
    decommissioned and moved to a graveyard orbit about 3 years ago.
    Apparently it still broadcasts some kind of radio signal that
    varies every 64 seconds.  I was asked to look for it visually.
    It was quite interesting.  Three flashes and a tumble were observed
    every cycle.  The flash period was measured as 64.40 seconds.
    There were secondary flashes about 7.4 seconds before and
    after the primary flash.  The primary flash was about magnitude
    6 or 6.5.  The secondary flashes were about magnitude 8 or 9.
    Sometimes I could see a tumble to about magnitude 10.5 halfway
    in between the primary flashes.
    I watched it in my 8 inch telescope for over 25 minutes
    and the pattern did not seem to change during that time.
    Usually I could see the flash in my 12x80 finder scope.
    Sometimes Ed could see the flash in his 8x42 binoculars.
    The time was 2:35 to 3:00 UT Nov. 21 = 8:35 to 9:00 CST Nov. 20.
    The satellite was altitude 28, azimuth 114 during this time.
    There is quite a bit of sky brightness from Austin in that direction.
    This was from BCRC - lat 30.32, long 97.87.
    Mike McCants
    Austin, TX
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