Re: Iridium 4 at -2 magnitude!

Tristan Cools (
Sun, 17 Aug 1997 22:13:56 +0200 (MET DST)

>Observation date:  1997 08 15  UT
>Observation Location: 44.2357N   76.5113W   98 metres
>I was observing on Thursday evening when my attention was drawn to a very 
>bright object in the northeast.  It is difficult to give a reasonable 
>estimate of the brightness but it was much brighter than Jupiter.  The 
>magnitidude -2 is only  a guess for 'WOW that's bright'.  It stayed very 
>bright for several seconds and then faded slowly.  As it faded, I picked 
>it up in my 80 mm f/5 telescope at 32X.  It faded to a bit less than 6th 
>magnititude by the time it passed 2 degrees above kappa pegasus at 
>01:54:31 +/- 1 second.   The timing is dead on for Iridium 4 ( 97 020E, 
>24796) and the brightness is typical of the Iridium satellites.  I have 
>observed all of the first batch.  
>Has anyone else seen such brightness from an Iridium?   I think so.