Newest Iridiums Flared

Ron Lee (ronlee@pcisys.net)
Sun, 24 Aug 1997 05:37:49

Just watched the newest launch (#24903-24907).  Spacing from the
first to second was 24.1 sec, then 14.8, 7.4 and 25.9 secs between
succeeding objects.   Glanced at the rocket body and it seemed
steady.

Watched the Iridiums again as they passed due east going north...
nothing interesting.  Then after looking around a bit with naked eye,
I noticed a moving star near Dubhe.  It was one of the Iridiums.

Looked with binocs again and the last object flared too.    Both
(#24903 and 24905) were magnitude 1 to 2, then dimmed again.
Duration not timed but several seconds.

AZ/EL of the flare about 24/17.  The max el of this pass was 42 deg
at azimuth 87.   Sun az/el was 64/-12.   local STANDARD time was
04:13 (05:13 MDT or 11:13 UT).

Location 104.4614 W, 38.9478 N, 2073 meters.

Ron Lee