Re: NOAA 17 bright?

From: Bram Dorreman (bram.dorreman@skynet.be)
Date: Fri Sep 10 2004 - 20:48:54 EDT

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    Hello Denis,
    
    NOAA's can be as bright as you described, even magnitude -4  .I suspect that
    when the satellite's azimuth is the same as that of the sun, such a flaring
    occurs. I did not yet prove my suspection.
    This applies to NOAA's that are still operational and their attitude is
    controlled.
    
    There are more (active) payloads showing such a behaviour, such as TOPEX (
    22076 92-52A ) and Terra (25994 99-68A).
    
    Happy observing
    
    Bram Dorreman
    COSPAR 4160
    51 16' 45.5" N  5 28' 36.6" E (WGS84) 35 m
    
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Denis Denissenko" <denis@hea.iki.rssi.ru>
    To: "SeeSat Mailing List" <SeeSat-L@satobs.org>
    Sent: Friday, September 10, 2004 21:13
    Subject: NOAA 17 bright?
    
    
    > Just looked out of the window at our institute to check if there is any
    > activity from alpha-Triangulid meteor shower and saw bright (about 0
    > mag) satellite moving towards Polaris instead.  While watching it fade,
    > caught stroboscopic flares moving through Cassiopaea in almost opposite
    > direction.  Local time was 22:50 (UT+04:00).
    >
    > Identified them as 27453 NOAA 17 (02-32A) and well known tumbler 24842
    > Iridium 911.  What surprised me was the brightness of the first
    > satellite.  SkyMap predicted it to be 4.3m, while it was definitely
    > brighter than 1.0 when I caught it appearing from the roof above me.
    >
    > So was my identification correct - that is, can NOAA 17 be that bright,
    > or was it another recently launched sat?
    >
    > My window is facing azimuth 35 (NNE) almost towards Moscow center,
    > limiting magnitude is about 3.8.
    >
    > Denis (approx. 37.6 East, 55.7 North)
    >
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