Recent Observations (and more)

Robert Sheaffer (sheaffer@netcom.com)
Fri, 20 Dec 1996 08:36:15 -0800

Made the following recent observations:

Dec. 18 05:34 PST  (13:34 UT)  Cosmos 1777 Rocket (#16953), passed at 
elevation 69 degrees. Mag estimated at about 4.3, steady.

Dec. 19 18:17 PST (02:17 Dec. 20) Cosmos 2326 (#23748), passed at
elev. 69 deg., mag est. at 2.7. Approximately *one minute late*
as predicted by Quicksat using Molczan's element set of Dec. 5.

        18:26 PST (02:26 Dec. 20) Cosmos 1005 Rocket (#10861),
passed at elev. 62 deg. Magnitude est. at 3.0.

Looked for but not seen during the observing intervals (magnitude
and elevation as predicted by Quicksat): Dec. 18, 05:35 PST, 61 deg.,
Cosmos 1680 Rocket (16012), 3.5; 05:35, 63 deg., Meteor 1-29 (11251),
mag. unknown; Atlas Centaur (694), 24 deg 05:37 3.4 (haze near horizon
may have interfered, overhead limiting magnitude approx 4.5/5.0);
05:39, Cosmos 1743 Rocket (16720) 77 deg., 3.8; 05:40, Cosmos 1726
Rocket, 51 deg, 3.8; Cosmos 2278 rocket (23088) 05:42, elev. 39 deg,
3.2.   Not seen Dec. 19 PST (limiting mag approx 4.0): Cosmos 1842
(17911), 18:17, elev 73 deg, 3.5; Cosmos 1844 (17973) 18:20, 72 deg,
4.0; GPS 2-19 rocket (22583) 18:25 3.1; Cosmos 2242 (22626) 18:27
elev 83 deg, 3.1; Cosmos 1005 rocket (10861), 18:26 62 deg. 2.9.


Remember _Superbird A_? The naked-eye flashing satellite in near-
geosynchronous orbit? It's now over the Indian Ocean, just north
of Madagascar. It should be visible throughout southern Europe 
and most of Asia. Its period of visible flashes, if any, is
unknown. Has anyone seen it? Has anyone actually looked?


Also: I am forwarding this sad note from James (The Amazing) Randi
received over a skeptics' list, on the death of Carl Sagan:



        Robert Sheaffer - robert@debunker.com - Skeptical to the Max!
     San Jose, California -  37 deg 17' 19" north, 121 deg 59' 09" west.

         Visit my new Home Page - http://www.debunker.com/~sheaffer
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