Re: Help on Geo flashers

From: Ron Lee (
Date: Tue Sep 11 2001 - 00:25:43 EDT

Steve,  here is a brief report of my first attempt to see "flaring"
GEOs two years ago:

[Start report]

"Rainer Kresken mentioned being the possibility of seeing GEOSATs
just prior to shadow entry at certain times of the year.  I just 
came in from seeing about six (6) with binoculars under the 
conditions he mentioned.  I am at latitude 38.9478 N and observed
from 0200-0324 UT on 6 Oct 98.   I need to determine which satellites
I saw along with a possible geosynch flasher.  Details to follow.

Looked at Superbird starting at 0326 UT and it was already in the 
post phase shift mode."

[End report]

A few weeks later I made this report on a good satellite for me to watch:

[Begin report]

"I received a private email questioning the magnitude of 
Intelsat 7F6 (or 706?), #23571, when I observed it last 
night.  My response was about 11th magnitude and that was
just a guess.   I realized the obs report left a lot to 
be desired so tonight I again observed it.

At 01:42 UT on 21 Oct 99 I judged the magnitude to be in the
10.5 - 11 range.  I then determined where it would be when 
opposite the Sun's RA and observed it again between 02:47
and 02:53 UT.  RA 1h 37 min (J2000). Magnitude as it passed
a star of magnitude 7.3 was essentially equal to that star.

Thus it flared about three (3) magnitudes.  There was no
shadow entry/exit since it was south of the earth's shadow.

I like this satellite since I have found it every time I tried
and its location low in the east sky means that I do not have
to stay up past my bedtime to observe it opposite the Sun.

Intlst 7F6
1 23571U 95023A   99283.26039606 -.00000302  00000-0  10000-3 0  4333
2 23571   0.0304 272.9010 0001592 288.1610 218.1285  1.00270000 16094

Ron Lee
104.5614 W, 38.9478 N, 2073 m"

[End report]

There is a big difference between flaring GEOs like described above
and GEO flashers like Superbird A that you can see whenever they are

If you would like, I can send you Skymap JPG that shows where to look.
I would plot a few satellites so that you know the star pattern where
satellites enter Earth's shadow.  GEOs will start to flare just a bit
west (to the right) of that point and are visible as slowly moving "stars"
compared to the background stars.

Just email me with your lat/long and I (or several other folks) can 
get you going.  If another interest is GEO flashers, just stay tuned
for info on Superbird A or any of the other flashers.

Ron Lee

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Sep 20 2001 - 17:55:53 EDT