TDF 1 is flashing

From: Matson, Robert (
Date: Tue Sep 03 2002 - 00:55:36 EDT

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    Hi Paul, Bjorn and List,
    I haven't contributed much lately, partly due to time spent
    on meteorite work and SOHO comet hunting, but primarily due
    to perpetually poor skies this summer.  Well, we finally
    got a nice high pressure ridge, so seeing is excellent
    tonite.  I've been following the recent threads on attempting
    to reacquire TDF-1 (#19621) and determine its current flash
    period (and flash window timing), so that was first on my
    agenda this evening.
    I acquired it within 10 seconds of putting my 8x56 binocs
    to M11 -- it (the satellite that is) was flashing nicely to
    around 5th magnitude as of 21:15 PDT (9/3 4:15 UTC).  I
    started the stopwatch at 4:17:15.2 on a flash and timed
    33 flash periods in 688.63 seconds for a flash period of
    20.868 +/- 0.002 seconds.  Unfortunately my PPAS template
    is on my work computer, so a properly formatted report
    will have to wait 'til tomorrow.  Just wanted to get
    something out quick in case any west coast satellite
    trackers wanted to try to acquire it.
    While watching TDF-1 for those 15 minutes or so, I watched
    a dim LEO pair ascending from the south not far from TDF-1,
    their paths criss-crossing each other, only slightly out
    of phase.  This made identification easy:  GEO-IK (#23411,
    94078A) and NOAA 2 (#06235, 72082A).  They both appeared
    around magnitude +6.5.  Back to satellite watching!  --Rob
    P.S. Observations from my usual COSPAR location in
    Newport Coast, CA  33.6028N, 117.8263W, ~200m AMSL (WGS-84)
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