Some flaring geosats in 10x50 binoculars

From: Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Date: Sun Oct 06 2002 - 17:37:14 EDT

  • Next message: paul: "8305PG 07oct 01h UT"

    I was able to see quite a few flaring geosats last night.  
    Identifying them by the positions I get with 10x50 
    binoculars is somewhat tedious, so after two or three 
    hours I've got this partial list of the ones I was able to 
    see last night (some at two or three different positions): 
    
    23536, 95-016A, Brazilsat B2
    24315, 96-054A, GE 1
    24713, 97-002A, GE 2
    24936, 97-050A, GE 3
    25152, 98-006A, Brazilsat B3
    26038, 99-071A, Galaxy 11
    26469, 00-046A, Brazilsat B4
    26608, 00-072A, PAS 1R
    26761, 01-108A, XM-1 (a.k.a. "XM-Rock", I think)
    
    two of these three close ones (sorted east to west):
    23764, 96-002A, PAS 3R
    25585, 98-075A, PAS 6B (slightly out of plane)
    24891, 97-040A, PAS 6
    
    one of these two close ones:
    20872, 90-091A, SBS 6, or 
    20873, 90-091B, Galaxy 6
    
    BCRC observing site:  30.315N, 97.866W, 280m
    
    I see them before shadow entry in various places in a 
    range from about RA 20:20 to 00:35.  I saw two much later 
    after shadow exit around RA 1:45.  The zero-inclination 
    declination from here is in a range from about -4.5 near 
    the horizon to about -5.0 near the meridian.
    
    I got to see a few more much fainter ones in Mike McCants'
    telescope.  Also, in the telescope the Brazilsats appear 
    to vary.  They are spin-stabilized, apparently 3.6 meters
    diameter, 8.4 meters height deployed; source:
    
    http://www.tbs-satellite.com/tse/online/prog_brasilsat_b_car.html
    
    I'm not sure if it should be possible to see them with 
    binoculars, but Mike confirmed with his telescope that 
    some of them were at least +7.5.
    
    Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas, USA
    
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