Flash observed

Mon, 18 Dec 1995 10:37:58 +0100

On Dec.13, about 16:45:30 UT, I happened to see a mag. -1 flash
above eta UMa. I subsequently identified as coming from NOAA 12,
#21263 1991 32 A.

Today I was trying to see #05853 (decaying around Jan.15) with
my unaided eyes on a bright dawn sky.
At 06:43:30 UT, I saw a similar flash above eta UMa.
Indeed it was NOAA 12 again, 4 days and 14 hours later,
moving in the opposite direction!

In this time, the Sun and -probably- a satellite's rotation axis
have not changed more than a few degrees, so if the satellite
passes the same sky area, the chance for flashes is large.
Even though the geometry with respect to the Earth's surface,
and the orbital longitude, is quite different, the
observer-satellite-Sun angles are approximately the same, and
this is what counts.

I have seen this with other satellites too.

 -- bjorn.gimle@online.dextel.se    +46-8-7428086          --
 -- bjorn@tt-tech.se                +46-8-59095739         --
 --(bjorn.gimle@duesenberg.se)      59.22371 N, 18.22857 E --