Penumbral Iridium flare and a fun morning

Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Thu, 14 Oct 1999 04:29:51 -0500

For last night (local time; 1:43:45 October 14 UTC), Iridflar
predicted a very bright penumbral flare of Iridium 36.  The 
bright ones usually seem bluish to me, but this one 
definitely was yellowish instead.  It was 40 degrees up, and 
the Sun was 22 degrees below the horizon.

Sometimes things work out very nicely.  Tuesday morning as 
tired as I was, I went over to the park a block away with 
one page of predictions for 14 potentially bright objects 
and left the binocs at home, and in one hour (10:50-11:50 
UTC) I was fortunate enough to see 10 of them -- Lacrosses 2 
and 3, the decaying Foton debris object (debris piece "E", 
25917, about +2.5 at a range of 240 km and good phase angle), 
UARS, HST, a Deltas, a Zenit (Cosmos 2227 Rk, 22285), Cosmos 
1953.  I was disappointed that I did not see the new GPS 
rocket (25934, 99-55B), and I failed to see two Zenits 
(Cosmos 1943 Rk, 19120, and Cosmos 2237 Rk, 22566), but it 
was great to see so many in such a short time with just 
predictions and timepiece.

Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas, USA
http://wwwvms.utexas.edu/~ecannon/satellite.htm

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