Re: ISS briefly brighter than Venus

From: Michael McCants (mmccants@jump.net)
Date: Sat Dec 30 2000 - 10:29:15 PST

  • Next message: George Amos: "lacrosse 2 obs 30/12/00"

    Ed Cannon wrote:
    
    >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.
    
    Hey Ed, how come you didn't come out to BCRC?  :-)
    
    I was watching through my 8 inch and then it got so bright it
    was painful.  :-)
    
    WWV was ticking along in the background and I wrote down the time
    as 00:55:00, but it probably was a few seconds earlier than that.
    See SeeSat output below.
    
    I again watched in my 8 inch and I was able to see ISS at about
    8th-9th magnitude until about 45 seconds after "geometric shadow
    entry".  See output below.
    
    lat 30.3153 lon -97.8663 height .16Km (BCRC)
    
    ISS
    1 25544U 98067A   00365.52825231  .00071885  00000-0  66923-3 0  4456
    2 25544  51.5756 222.3916 0007790 288.4004  95.0271 15.66676999120691
    
    ISS              2000 DEC 30    NOTE: Coordinates are 1950
     time    alt    azi      R.A.    dec  range   hgt   sun
    0054:45 53.5  358.7    0 47.5   66.4    285   232   2.9
    0054:50 56.2    4.6    1 18.6   63.5    276   232   2.7
    0054:55 58.7   11.8    1 45.0   60.2    269   232   2.5
       I think it flared in between these two points.
    0055:00 60.8   20.4    2  7.3   56.3    264   232   2.4
    
       (gap of 1:15 here)
    
     time    alt    azi      R.A.    dec  range   hgt   sun
    0056:15 35.1  113.06   4 12.3    0.7    383   232   0.0
       Geometric shadow entry.  Turned fairly red after shadow entry.
       Dropped about 10 magnitudes (-2 to +8) here.
    0056:20 33.2  114.5    4 15.6   -1.4    399   232  -0.1
    0056:30 29.7  117.0    4 21.6   -5.3    434   232  -0.4
    0056:40 26.6  118.9    4 26.9   -8.6    471   232  -0.7
    0056:50 23.9  120.5    4 31.6  -11.4    508   232  -1.1
    0057:00 21.5  121.8    4 35.9  -13.9    547   232  -1.4
       When I finally lost it, the sun was about 1.4 degrees below
       its horizon.
    
    Mike McCants
    
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