Iridium flares from "?" objects

Ed Cannon (
Thu, 16 Dec 1999 02:20:07 -0600

Monday evening local time Iridium 77 ? (25471, 98-51E) 
flared much brighter than predicted; in fact, it outshone 
Iridium 43 (25039, 97-69A) which followed it by less than 
two minutes and was predicted -5.  This was from a couple 
of blocks north of UT Austin.

Tuesday evening, in spite of a lot of West Texas dust 
significantly reducing limiting magnitude, Iridium 82 ? 
(25467, 98-51A) appeared at the predicted time, so it must 
have been fairly close to the predicted -5.

I heard from two people at work, one via e-mail, regarding
the upcoming full Moon at perigee, etc.

Sky & Telescope has weighed in on the upcoming full Moon
situation but doesn't mention the Earth perihelion aspect:

Kind of neat side-by-side photos of the full Moon at apogee
and perigee.

The "Stargazer" script for the week of Dec. 12-19 ("1149th 
show") cites the "Old Farmer's Almanac" regarding this 
"brightest full Moon in 133 years" business:

My prediction:  It will be totally cloudy all over the 
whole world -- another sign of the impending Y2K doom....


Ed Cannon - - Austin, Texas, USA

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