The return of Superbird A

27 Aug 1997 20:01:39 -0800

Greetings All,

With all the excitement that the various Iridium sats are providing, there may
not be as much interest in reacquiring Superbird A (#20040).  But just in
case, I thought I'd provide my best guestimate as to the current flash window
and who can see it.

I'm extrapolating from April 17th, so there is a wide error margin on the
flash window time -- hopefully a patient soul out there will be able to
reacquire it.  For the East Coast, my model predicts a flash window centered
around 0:45 UTC each evening, with an error of perhaps 20 minutes either way.
Anyone west of the Mississippi will have to wait a few more weeks for the sun
to get low enough.  Right now, visibility is best in New England, though it
should be fine up and down the U.S. eastern seaboard.  Ohio, Kentucky,
Tennessee and Alabama may also be able to see it at this time.  Perhaps Jay or
Peter can give it a shot.  For Jay, my best guess for the center of the flash
window is 8:45pm EDT on Thursday evening August 28th (i.e. 0:45 UTC on 8/29);
for Peter, about 2 1/2 minutes earlier.  Compared to the large uncertainty in
the peak of the flash window at this time, times do not shift appreciably from
night to night.

Outside the U.S., eastern Canada should be in position, including Montreal and
Toronto -- basically anywhere in Quebec, Ontario, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia or
Prince Edward Is.  Flashes should also be visible from anywhere in South
America, Central America (excluding Mexico), the Caribbean, 
western England, western France, Spain, and western Africa.  If anyone wants
to try from any of these locations, let me know and I'll post times for them
as well.  Best of luck!  --Rob