Re: Mystery Geo flasher

Wayne Hughes (hughes@dogwood.botany.uga.edu)
Sun, 5 Dec 1999 14:25:02 -0500 (EST)

My comment and intro below:

nixj@bellsouth.net wrote:

> 
> Knoxville, around 8:00 pm local, Dec. 1, 1999, approx. 10 degrees below Jupiter and
> Saturn, barely moving from West to East, observed for approx two minutes, flashes at
> approx 8-10 secs intervals around mag 1.0 to 3.0 then dimming.

Although it proves not to be the gentleman's  particular object, last
night I was watching the predicted passage of the  eccentric Intlsat 4-5
RK moving from pi Aquarii to Jupiter - it was at perigee at a couple
thousand km up and flashing with a similar intensity and frequency to
the above object; quite spectacular, really.   It took about 3 minutes
to move the 39 degrees - don't know if 13 deg/min corresponds to "barely
moving" but it was certainly crawling along compared to less eccentric,
closer objects.

So I wonder if some of the geoflashers could be eccentric objects at a
relatively high perigee?

I've been lurking on the list for some time, enjoying it and learning a
lot.  Haven't introduced myself... Wayne Hughes, Athens GA USA, a
botanist at the Univ of Georgia.  Just about to get a 12.5" dob-mounted
reflector, which brings up a question I've been wondering about.  What
are people using to do their observing?  I just use binocs, but see
where a scope could be of some utility, especially for far-out, dim,
slow-moving objects.  I haven't seen much mention of this - anyone care
to comment on telescope usage?

Thanks,
Wayne Hughes

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