Wonderful Evening and a question

ted Brattstrom (ted@hawaii.edu)
Tue, 31 Dec 1996 07:29:54 -1000

Aloha - yesterday evening was delightful...

(Dec 30, 1996 0433->0542 or so UTC)

came back from flying about the island, a beautiful fairly clear sky, and
just as I was getting home the sun was just properly below the horizon....
The Pleaides and M31 just barely visible from my back lanai.

over the next 23 minutes I caught 7 satellites, with the sky slowly getting
down to about 4/10 clear or less... All visually aquired and then followed
with binocs until the mountain or a cloud or tree got in the way...

One of them, heading eastbound was pulsing... (sorry, no stopwatches or
time, I was just out enjoying)  maybe every 10 or 15 seconds.... another,
heading NE was a bright reddish orange color....

that started me reflecting :-)  on posts I'd read here about "colored"
satellites, and started me thinking about a more active life in watching
things... (oh no!!! :-)  like I don't have lots of other things to do....)

After the first 7, I figured that one of them may have been MIR, so I went
in to have a look at the computer.... no, MIR was due in 25 minutes... so,
back out again, radios in hand to find out if anyone was awake, and if I
could see them anyway... MIR was late - but that was my fault, the home
computer had older elements... however, it arced across the sky, around 30
degrees up over Honolulu. Packet was coming down on 145.800 MHz, so I
suspect one of my friends was sending a message to the PMS.... alas, I have
yet to see them and talk to them at the same time...

a nice evening.... (cloudy morning though :-) )

and now the newbie question.... with the discussion of choosing objects and
magnitudes and the like, could someone explain, or give me a quick pointer
to understanding the numbers in the first line of Ted Molzcan's elements...
I'm guessing that the number in there is a magnitude value.... and the
letters at the end have to do with flashing???


aloha and clear skies - ted

ahhh - the short biography the list requested -

High school science teacher - amateur radio operator nh6yk - amateur
satellite user - former ATS-3 PEACESAT station manager/operator - amateur
astronomer of the "enjoy the sky and cool faint fuzzy things" sort... and a
few other odd traits... and someone who likes to get people to look up at
night, to see the things that are there that they ignore... drop a line,
check out the web pages, give me a shout on AO10....
Happy New Year - ted

location - BL11aj or in round numbers 21 N  157 W   Honolulu, Hawaii