Re: spectacular fast flasher

From: Edward S Light (edlight@juno.com)
Date: Thu Oct 06 2005 - 18:22:59 EDT

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    Earlier, Ed Cannon wrote:
    >
    > Last night FSW-3 4 (28776, 05-27A) did a truly spectacular
    > pass over here at an orbital height of just over 160 km and
    > flashing very brightly (-2?) about every 2.5 seconds with a
    > pattern of flash-miss-flash-flash (i.e., 1.25, .63, .62), or
    > flash-flash-miss-flash (.63, .62, 1.25).
    >
    
    We observed this object a few days ago on a very rapid pass.
    We were not greeted by the bright flashes Ed noted last night;
    it was noticeably varying but not much brighter than the 3rd
    magnitude - IOD data:
    
    28776 05 027A   8840 G 20051002233848000 28                      I+028 03
    28776 05 027A   8840 G 20051002233857000 28                      I+035 03
    
    We did see similarly dramatic rapid passes of another such
    object: FSW-3 5 (28824, 05-033A) in the last couple of days but again
    were denied the spectacularly bright flashes Ed saw - 2nd magnitude
    at best.  IOD data:
    
    28824 05 033A   8840 G 20051004235139000 28                      M+028 03
    28824 05 033A   8840 G 20051004235155000 28                      R+038 03
    28824 05 033A   8840 G 20051005233543000 28                      M+027 03
    28824 05 033A   8840 G 20051005233615000 28                      S+028 03
    28824 05 033A   8840 G 20051005233641000 28                      S+020 03
    
    Last night's pass was interesting in pointing out how crucial geometry
    is for flashing/flaring objects.  At 23:35.7 UTC (2005 October 5th) it
    was varying dramatically, irregularly, and quickly at altitude/azimuth
    43deg/241deg (i.e. SW), but by the time it culminated in the west, the
    variations had ceased. As we followed it down to near Polaris at 23:36.7
    (45deg/008deg), it was steady and bright at second magnitude.
    
    Really neat to see such bright and (usually) varying speed demons!
    
    Clear and dark skies,
    
    Ed Light
    Lakewood, NJ, USA
    Site 8840, N 40.1075, W 074.2312, +24 m (80 ft)
    
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