Re: Iridium Obs. Aug. 27, 1997 @ 12:29 UTC

Ron Lee (
Wed, 27 Aug 1997 17:42:59

If you look at the reports from Craig ( a few days ago) and Sue (last
night), both flared at elevations about 50-52 degrees.  The azimuth is
different but that may reflect their different latitudes.  Both also
reported no flares on the other satellites in that group that made
passes in the same general time period (1 hour) but at different 

Several days ago I saw a baby flare of the most recent Iridiums (#24907
et al).  This morning it was a whopper flare...if I may use technical
terminology.  The passes are getting earlier and I believe moving west
so I would expect the flaring of this group in the morning to eventually

Why Paul can see flares in the SW higher than my flares in the low NE on 
the same orbit (western azimuth for him and eastern for me), I cannot
explain.   I also do not know what role the phase angle may play since
I cannot derive it for my passes.  But we are getting enough data to predict
day to day passes that should flare.


At 10:19 97/8/27 -0400, you wrote:
>I saw 4 Iridiums again this AM.  All four were visible to some neighbors
>I got interested.  I was the only one with binoculars.  However, only the
>last one flared to a bright magnitude and not as bright as yesterday.  One
>of the neighbors had seen them yesterday so could tell her two sons
>that I wasn't spinning a yarn.  I guess the phase angle (?) or geometry has
>changed for my location.  I'm wondering if locations farther west are 
>getting the favorable angles?  Perhaps Thousand Oaks?  
>Still, the two sons got to see 4 satellites in close succession and one
>bright flare so they were impressed.
>Jake Rees
>Burbank, Calif.
>(118.3117 W, 34.1817 N)