Re: Unknown "Blinker" Last Night

From: Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Date: Wed Sep 21 2005 - 14:15:04 EDT

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    Jeff Umbarger wrote:
    
    > Can someone explain why LES 8 (and out of control
    > geosats like it) flash earlier each night by an amount
    > of time that *exceeds* how much earlier the sun sets
    > each night? ... I guess I'm assuming that it's spin 
    > plane is fixed to the stars - is that a good assumption?
    
    I'll "me too" that with respect to LES 8.  But actually 
    most of them, especially the ones drifting to the west,
    flash later each night.  So LES 8 seems unusual in that
    respect.  I think Mike explained it in his message 
    yesterday.
    
    Last night's brightest three flashes were 1:45 to 1:49 
    UTC.  While watching them, we were being continually 
    attacked by roving bands of marauding mosquitoes -- the 
    worst I remember in ten years of observing from BCRC.  
    Because of them, moonrise became enough to induce an early 
    end to the observing session.
    
    Fast flasher!  Due to a stopwatch wrong-mode accident, my 
    count of 50 cycles from Cosmos 2392 Aux 1 (02-037E, 27474) 
    went unrecorded, but it did those 50 cycles in maybe about
    30 seconds or so, before shadow entry.  The magnitude may
    have been as bright (a few of them) as +5.0, maybe.  Its
    height was about 300 km, and it was moving very rapidly.
    
    After a long time, we saw SCD 2 (98-060A, 25504) flashing
    rapidly just before shadow entry.  It's spin-stabilized.
    
    Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas, USA
    
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