New Iridiums Spotted

Jason Hatton (jason.hatton@etss.u-strasbg.fr)
Thu, 19 Feb 1998 09:17:26 +0000

Thanks to Ron Lee's pre-launch elsets & a clear sky, I managed to spot
the newly launched Iridium's yesterday evening, on their third orbit
after launch. I observed them using 10x50 binoculars as they passed very
close to delta-And at 18:25:00 UT (19:25:00 local). There were several
objects strung out in a line about 3-4 deg long. The pass was only about
40 deg maximum altitude in the west so the objects were quite faint,
probably only Mag 7.5. The lead object flashed three times in a period
of about 10 seconds up to about Mag 4, each flash only lasting a split
second. I didn't see any more flashes after that. I had a hard job
keeping track of the objects, since they were faint (& that part of the
sky is quite light polluted too) & lost them after about 20 seconds. I
kept a look out for any flares as they moved to the north, but non were
seen.   
-- 
Jason P Hatton
INSERM U311
ETS Strasbourg
67065 Strasbourg Cedex
France

48.538N / 7.731 E 146m