Re: Superbird A sighting

Robert G Fenske Jr (fenske@rgfpc.electro.swri.edu)
Tue, 28 Sep 1999 11:42:31 -0500 (CDT)

On 28 Sep 1999, Ed Cannon wrote:

> Mike McCants and I saw Superbird A (20040, 89-41A) Monday evening.  Some of
> the flashes were visible at one-power, even with moonlight and having to look
> directly over Austin's city-glow.  Mike calculated the phase-shift time as
> being about 3:18:09 UTC 28 Sept.  Location: 30.314N, 97.866W, 270m.

	Or in my case, San Antonio's skyglow.  Not having done much
satellite observing recently I decided to try for Superbird A.  I scanned
the area with binoculars for awhile and was about to give up when I
finally saw a flash.  After a dim and a bright flash, I rushed inside to
get my watch to time the flashes.  After I reacquired the sat, I found it
was flashing brightly every ~11.5 seconds.  At this point I timed six
every-other-flash cycles in 138 sec, or 23.0 secs / cycle.  The
intermediate flashes had dropped below visibility at this point.  In
summary I saw flashes (all through binocs) like:

        FfF <gap> FFFFFFFFFFFfF.F.F
                    ^           ^
                    +-----------+
                    timing done
                    here

I quit observing about 03:22 UT, when the neighbor turned on his backyard
light.

Robert Fenske, Jr.   rfenske@swri.edu    Sw     |The Taming the C*sm*s series:
Southwest Research Institute            /R---\  |
Signal Exploitation & Geolocation Div  | I    | |"The Martian canals were the
San Antonio,Texas USA  ph:210-522-3931  \----/  | Martians' last ditch effort."