NOAA 11 double flare, and other obs.

Ed Cannon (
Fri, 03 Oct 1997 00:37:09 -0400

Wednesday night (1 Oct. 1997 local, 2 Oct. 1997 UTC), I copied 
NOAA 11 (88-89A, 19531) predictions from Mike's published mag. 5.5 
predictions for Austin, since the brighter ones I generated didn't 
have anything after 8:45 p.m. CDT (1:45 UTC).  I thought, "I won't 
see it, but I think it does flash sometimes."

So I was watching where it was supposed to be soon after exiting 
from the shadow, and I saw what I believe was NOAA 11 flash to mag. 
-1 for a second or so!  Then a few seconds later (5 seconds?), 
there was another -1 flash!  I swear this is true!  It soon assumed 
its predicted +4.n, because I couldn't see it any more from my poor 
location.  Here's some data from my first prediction in UTC, with 
height, shadow height, and range in km:

Time.... Al Azi R.A._ Dec._ Hgt. Shd Rang Phs (QS)
01:54:03 47 137 21:55 -03.5 0840 096 1090 039 (or 180-39 = 141)

That looks suspiciously like an Iridium flare sky position to me, 
but it wasn't one of those.  The NOAA 11 elset was 7 days old on 
that one.  I looked for it again Thursday night but did not see it.  

Wednesday night also saw at one-power:  Cosmos 2082 Rk (20625, 
90-46B), Mir/STS-86 (excellent pass above Jupiter and about that 
bright!), Directive 2 Rk (23193, 94-47B -- first prediction was 
253 km above the surface [Thanks to Alan Pickup for including its 
elements in select.tle.]), Iridium 16 (reported), NOSS 2-3 Rk 
(23907, 96-29B), and GRO (21225, 91-27B).

Thursday night saw only: Cosmos 2263 Rk (22803, 93-59B), Mir/STS-86, 
and UHF 2 Rk (22788, 93-56B).  I'm sure that some of UHF 2 Rk's 
maxima are mag. 0!

All of those were see from UT Austin but using some generic Austin
coordinates for the predictions:  30.30N, 97.73W, 182m.

Ed Cannon
Austin, Texas, USA