Whopper flare goes public

Sun, 12 Oct 1997 22:11:08 -0400 (EDT)

First of all, thanks to Randy John for the flare prediction program. My
brother and I gave an amateur astronomy presentation for a church youth group
in Evans City, PA tonight. Randy's program called for a 0.44 angle flare from
Iridium 10 just after the start of the program, so we led the group outside
and, sure enough, got a -4 flare in bright twilight. Believe me, we had them
after that!

Another observation worth noting: Observed Iridium Delta rocket (97 034F,
#24874) from 41N 80W at 1029 UT on 12 Oct. Magnitude was a steady 1.0, and
the track was a couple of degrees west of track predicted with this elset
from Ted Molczan's file:

Iridm Delta r    5.9  2.4  0.0  5.6 d
1 24874U 97034F   97275.61225823  .00098117  00000-0  57581-3 0   779
2 24874  82.7234 101.0487 0236909  41.7967 320.1708 15.48259293 13112

For some reason, Satspy took the older elset when merging the file with
select.tle, which had a newer one.

Eric Vondra
Pittsburgh PA