Re: easy, interesting satellite

Alexander Seidel (ase@planet-interkom.de)
Fri, 03 Sep 1999 23:33:30 +0200

Walter Nissen wrote:
 
> A special opportunity for easy, interesting observations is now occuring.
> A very large, bright satellite is making favorable evening passes near
> this latitude and to the North.  Many of you already know this, but I
> think it appropriate to mention this in a possibly easier to appreciate
> form.  In fact, some of you may better understand than I do, just what the
> worldwide visibility of "Okean-O r" is just now.  I haven't checked the
> southern hemisphere.  What I do know is that it is presently making
> wonderful, bright passes here, with visibility to the North, and the
> passes are gradually becoming less favorable.
> 
> Okean-O r is flashing somewhat regularly.  How fast?  Use a stopwatch to
> measure the amount of time taken by 10 flashes.  Or 20 or 30.  When you
> can provide reasonable accuracy, your observations will be welcomed by the
> BWGS for the PPAS.  See
> http://www2.satellite.eu.org/satintro.html for more details, and
> also how to obtain predictions from GSOC, or software to run your own.
> Don't be upset if you see this object named SL-16 R/B.  Such descriptions
> often masquerade as names.  Try not to pay them too much attention.
> 
> It should be quite interesting to see the flash period change.  Probably
> it will become much longer.  Right now it is rather fast indeed.


Hi folks,

almost fully quoting a post that was submitted to the list earlier on
really should not be done, I know, but Walter made a post here addressed
to all the interested people out there wishing to see a typically
tumbling rocket in motion, that was of quite a general nature, could be
favorably aimed at new enthusiasts, and so I intentionally quote it once
again, just having realized myself what a GREAT satellite that is to the
optical observers, at least those who are limited to the
bright-magnitudes-regime by conditions whatever.

I just saw it 46 degrees over my local horizon in the west, moving
northwards, flashing with maxima of mag +3.5 and minima of mag +7, and a
photometric period of 0.6496 (+/- 0.001) seconds, timed on 7 x 20 = 140
maxima with a split-action stopwatch (and evaluated using the split
times and the total time of measurement, weighted appropriately).

This is one of the best bright flashers I have ever seen in my long
career as an optical observer, and it is well placed now for evening
observations in our latitudes worldwide, with an inclination to the
equator that guarantees quite a lot of more possible observing nights to
come.

(P.S. to Kurt: a PPAS entry will follow for this one.)

Best regards,
Alex
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