LES 8 spectacular and very bright geosat AMC-16

From: Ed Cannon (edcannonsat@yahoo.com)
Date: Sun Oct 01 2006 - 19:46:21 EDT

  • Next message: ALLEN THOMSON: "Re: LES 8 spectacular and very bright geosat AMC-16"

    Last night by accident I saw a very bright flash (no binoculars).  
    We waited and waited, and 3 minutes and 13.5 seconds later it 
    flashedagain -- very bright.  This was not long after 10:00 PM 
    local time (3:00 UTC).  It was LES 8 (73-023A, 08746).  It very 
    very gradually got fainter over the next hour (?) -- don't know 
    when it started.  This was very easy to see without magnification.
    The last two evenings AMC-16 (04-048A, 28472), a geosat, has been
    flaring to +3.5 magnitude near lambda Aquilae (19:06, -4.9, epoch 
    2000) at about 2:35-40 (9:35-40 PM local time).  This is a very 
    long ways (about 75 degrees!) away from the shadow entry position!
    I just happened to see it by accident on Friday evening while 
    looking at the neat asterism around lambda Aquilae.  Last night 
    the satellite was equally bright as the star, and both were visible
    without binoculars in spite of the moonlight.
    I've been able to see XM-1 and XM-2 for a long time each evening 
    lately with my 8x binoculars, and the PAS pair low in the east for
    a few minutes just before shadow entry.
    Cosmos 2105 (90-099A, 20941) is still flashing very brightly high
    in the east, kind of around 2:00 UTC (9:00 PM local time -- don't
    have the exact time at hand at the moment, but it's as it's above
    and right of the Great Square of Pegasus, as we look to the east).
    Ed Cannon - Austin, Texas, USA
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