Lunar Iridium flares

Ed Cannon (
Sun, 19 Dec 1999 07:59:46 -0600

Okay, with the coming super-bright full Moon, it's time for Rob 
to let us know about the super-bright lunar Iridium flares that 
we can expect and should look for!   :-)    (By the way, Rob, 
seems I saw a message that mentioned Iridflar.exe version 1.7.  
Did I miss a release?  I'm still using version 1.65.)

Here are two more good articles (IMHO) regarding the full Moon
later this week:

Dec. 16, Earth & Sky, "Solstice Moon Madness" --

Dec. 19, Associated Press article on Space Today site, 
"Millennium's final full moon to include unusual combination" --

I tried a different (pretty bad) method of observing this morning.
I didn't print out predictions; I just had them on my PC and went
outside and looked, came back in, etc.  Finally enough were going
to come too close together and during a short break I wrote a few
of them down!  My favorites were UHF F/O F2 Rk (22788, 93-56D), a
nice one-power pass, timed flash period at 7.74; a very nice, 
bright pass of EGP/Ajisai (16908, 86-61A); Cosmos 1005 (10860, 
78-45A), predicted +3.0 but quite a bit brighter; a very bright 
(-6 pred.) flare from Iridium 65 (25288, 98-21D) -- even though I 
almost missed it behind the bare limbs of some trees; DFH-3 2 Rk, 
a CZ-3 (97-21B, 24799) with flash period of 3.00 seconds, really
fast and very bright; and finally, COMETS H-2 Rk (25176, 98-11B)
with solar elev. of -6 degrees -- thought I was going to miss it,
but I found it as it went near the zenith.  Observing location 
was 30.3086N, 97.7279W, 150m.  

Now, since I've been up all night (due to, after Mike McCants and 
I observed last night, trying unsuccessfully to see ETS/Kiku 6, a 
Molniya, and some flashing geosynchs), I think I'd better sign off
for a couple of hours!

Ed Cannon - - Austin, Texas, USA

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