Iridium "flare" obs

Edward S Light (light@argos.argoscomp.com)
Fri, 29 Aug 1997 10:07:55 -0400 (EDT)

Below are my Iridium "flare" observations in, more or less, the standard form:

                                           At Maximum Flash         Maximum
                                           Satell   Sun       Max    of Pass
1997    UTC   (Local Time)    Object=ID    EL/AZI  EL/AZI PHS Mag   EL/AZI Dir
------------- -------------  ------------ ------- ------- --- ---   ----------
08/23 01:06.9 (08/22 21:07)  24794=97020C  51/089 -15/300 043  +1   52/084 ->S
------------- -------------  ------------ ------- ------- --- ---   ----------
08/26 00:57.9 (08/25 20:58)  24795=97020D  61/101 -15/298 047  +1   62/086 ->S
------------- -------------  ------------ ------- ------- --- ---   ----------
08/27 00:51.9 (08/26 20:52)  24792=97020A  60/104 -14/297 046  +0   61/085 ->S
------------- -------------  ------------ ------- ------- --- ---   ----------

Location: 40.1072 N, 074.2317 W, +21 meters (69 feet)
UT Offset: -4 hours (local time is Eastern Daylight Time)

Notes:
  1) Azimuths are measured from the North towards East (i.e. the passes above
     all occurred to the East).
  2) No flash durations were given as the flashes were quite gradual and we
     were concentrating on the brightest the objects got. (Therefore, the given
     times are +/- a few tenths of a minute.)
  3) The maximum magnitudes given were based on comparisons to Deneb and Vega.

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Excluding the flashes, the standard (a la Quicksat: 0 phase/1000 km)
magnitudes of the Iridia (?) we've seen so far seem to be in the range
+4 to +5, i.e.:

   Object     Mag (+/- .5?) NumPasses
24792=97020A     +4.4          1
24793=97020B     +4.6          1 
24794=97020C     +4.7          2
24795=97020D     +4.2          2
24796=97020E     +4.7          3

We haven't yet tried for the bunch visible in the pre-dawn skies but hope to
do so this coming weekend.

Clear and dark skies!

Edward S. Light