Attempted Superbird A Obs, 28 Sep 96

Ron Lee (
Sat, 28 Sep 1996 07:53:47 -0600 (MDT)

Set up 8" (20.3 cm) telescope and was observing the predicted
position by 2000 local on 27 Sep 96 (0200 UT 28 Sep).  Switched
between 7x50 binoculars and telescope.  Nothing observed during
the period up to 2027 local when clouds rolled in.

Continued observing through telescope (intermittent short periods
of seeing stars) until 2048 local when it cleared.  Clouds ended
observing at 2120 local (0320 UT 28 Sep).

Suspect that IF visible, it will be around 2200 local (104.56 W,
38.95 N).

Method of observing this type of satellite is to run Rob Matson's
Skymap in the "Equatorial" mode to plot the satellites path relative
to stars.  Find a star (or group of stars) that is easily found, 
position the telescope at that position before the satellite is to 
arrive, then let the telescope's clock drive move toward the
stationary geosynch.  At the designated time, turn off the clock drive.

My only conclusions from last nights obs is that Superbird A is
too faint for my telescope under these viewing conditions (except
of course for the short period of specular refelections which I
have not yet observed).

Ron Lee