Really LEO passes and a few Iridium flares

Ed Cannon (
Fri, 17 Dec 1999 16:25:11 -0600

A couple of very good, really low passes observed:

Last night (00:36 UTC 17 Dec), Globalstar 29 Soyuz Rk (25965, 99-62E)
went over here at about 245-250 km height and was at least +1.  It
was tumbling slowly.  We have another good pass of this object tonight.

This morning (12:42 UTC), COMETS H-2 Rk (25176, 98-11B) made a late
twilight pass (solar elev. -7 deg.) at about 221 km.  It was very
bright, possibly +0.  Also, as it continued towards the east, at
about 12:42:10 (or 20 or 40 -- can't read my notation) it suddenly
flashed to about -2 (with Venus nearby for comparison).  I've seen
bright flashes from H-2s before, and I'm pretty sure that they have
a large flat surface where the payload interfaces with the launch 

Last night and this morning I managed to see five Iridium flares,
all pretty much as predicted: numbers 82?, 41, 80, 75, and 70.  Three
of them (#s 82?, 75, and 70) flared to very nice negative magnitudes.

Non-observation:  Last night there was a low pass (about 310-315 km) 
of GPS 2-18 Rk (#22448, 93-7C) with predicted Quicksat magnitude of 
+3.3, and I was not able to see it at one-power.  Apparently it is a 
PAM and is not a very bright object.

Locations were all from roughly 30.31N, 97.73W, 150m.

Ed Cannon - - Austin, Texas, USA

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