Re: Cosmos 2053

Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Tue, 15 Oct 1996 02:05:35 -0500

10/15/96

Sue Worden reported on our simultaneous observations of Cosmos 2053, 
i.e., 20389, i.e., 89-100A:

>At the Central Texas Star Party this past weekend, Ed Cannon and I
>observed a remarkably long-lived and colorful brightening of Cosmos
>2053.  Very shortly after culminating, no more than 5 degrees down,
>it changed from a steady white pinprick at about magnitude +3 to a
>brilliant bluish-white sparkler at an estimated magnitude of -0.5.
<...>

This is to "second" Sue's description.  It was an ideal night at a 
dark site.  We were simultaneously observing it, and both of us 
exclaimed aloud when it rapidly brightened to a brilliant light blue.  
My main variance from Sue's account might be that -- other than the 
large increase in magnitude -- to me it appeared steady.  (I'm not 
certain if in her account by "bluish-white sparkler" she meant 
simply the color or also a sparkling effect.)  However, I think I 
looked at it without binoculars for at least a few seconds to see 
how bright it was and thus might have missed some details.  Also, on 
my Quicksat predictions, I wrote down "mag. 1-0" (one to zero) but 
felt I might be understating it.  We discussed the magnitude briefly 
at the time but didn't (if memory serves) settle on an estimate.  

Ed Cannon
Austin, Texas, USA
30.33 North, 97.76 West (or thereabouts)