Re: PAS 1R Seen

From: Ed Cannon (
Date: Thu Feb 02 2006 - 19:03:27 EST

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    Brad Young wrote:
    "Saw PAS 1R (26608) last night from 2:58:52 - 3:05:13 
    UT, ramping up evenly from ~+7 mag to +5 and back to 
    inv in my 10x50 binoculars. ... Not sure how to report 
    such a sight...PPAS format?"
    I'm not sure that there's any settled report format on 
    this phenomenon.  It can occur with many operational 
    geosats.  A few of them get bright enough to be seen 
    without binoculars!  It occurs around the equinoxes.
    "First long term flaring geosat I'd seen and it was 
    quite a different event than the "flashers" like 
    Telstar 401.... Is there posted in the archives or on 
    Web a short discourse on why this geosat "flares" and 
    the others "flash"?"
    The ones that flash are tumbling.  Flaring is due to
    changing Sun-object-observer geometry.  Björn has 
    replied already about this, but I'll add the following:
    Rainer Kresken's original post about the phenomenon --
    Björn's web page about it --
    A reminder about it that I sent a couple of years 
    ago, with links to other information --
    Stardial page that includes links to small mpg 
    movies of flaring geosats entering and exiting 
    Earth's shadow --
    It's somewhat early for the "flaring geosat season"
    to begin, but if an operational object is in a 
    somewhat inclined orbit (e.g., Milstar 6, as Kevin
    reported it a few days ago) or is in a somewhat 
    different-than-usual orientation (maybe PAS 1R?), 
    then the flaring may occur outside the usually 
    expected window for the phenomenon.
    Ed Cannon - Austin, Texas, USA
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