Re: very slow very bright flasher

Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Tue, 12 Oct 1999 18:15:35 -0500

Joseph A. Dellinger (jdellinger@amoco.com) wrote:
 
]         While waiting for Superbird to appear last night, another
spectacular
] flasher appeared a few minutes before. This one was very bright, with
flashes
] in the range of mag 0 to 1. It was not geosynchronous but moved VERY
slowly,

As Ron Lee suggested, that was ETS 6 (23230, 94-056A).  I observed it
from 
here also last night (and used up my stopwatch clicks on it before
Superbird 
began flashing), and just last Friday night it was similarly observed by
a 
number of folks at a star party at Pedernales Falls State Park, west of
Austin:

 http://www2.satellite.eu.org/seesat/Oct-1999/0121.html

Also, I observed it doing the same thing last Tuesday evening (local
time):

 http://www2.satellite.eu.org/seesat/Oct-1999/0057.html

Its mean motion is 1.67, so it won't be back (not that kind of pass
anyway) 
until Thursday night (local time), then not again until Sunday.  As to
the 
extent of its one-power flashes being predictable, I think they probably
are.  
They've definitely repeated here for the last three passes.  Of course,
on 
each pass the orbit has precessed some and the Sun has moved some, so 
probably pretty soon we won't be seeing it here -- but someone somewhere 
should be.

Another one something like this is Raduga 33 (23794, 96-10A).

Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas, USA

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