ISS briefly brighter than Venus

From: Ed Cannon (
Date: Sat Dec 30 2000 - 01:10:32 PST

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    Last night (about 0:53:30-0:55:30 Dec 30 UTC) I was watching 
    what proved to be a very bright ISS pass, very nearly as 
    bright as Jupiter, when it flared briefly -- about one or 
    two seconds -- to brighter than Venus; then it dropped back 
    to -2.5 or so and then finally gradually faded as it went 
    into the Earth's shadow.  I got a time for the flare, but my 
    stopwatch, once again as it has a few other times, recently 
    zeroed itself when I clicked the button to read the times.  
    Drat!  I believe the brightest moment was after it had passed 
    due north, but I'm not sure.  (This malfunction also lost 
    four or five flashing Iridium clicks and a solitary click for 
    a +4.5 flash of ASC 1 [15994, 85-076C], an almost geosynch 
    drifting very slowly eastward.  Time to get a new stopwatch, 
    I guess....  I really wanted that ASC 1 flash time!  After I 
    saw that one I watched the location as I counted to 300 but 
    did not see it again.  I read Ed Light's report of a very 
    similar ISS pass until after I came in from observing.)
    Location was outside my apartment, 30.3086N, 97.7279W, 150m.
    Oh, also got to see a very nice predicted -8 flare from 
    Iridium 81 just four to five minutes before ISS.
    Ed Cannon - - Austin, Texas, USA
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    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sat Dec 30 2000 - 01:10:41 PST