USA 81, Milstar 3, Mir flare

From: Daniel Deak (
Date: Mon Jan 24 2000 - 17:51:56 PST

  • Next message: "Obs 1-25-2000"

    Hi everybody,
    Since the beginning of the month until the end of November, I will have
    normal work days so, at last, I will be able to get back to positional
    observing having all my evenings free.
    Tonight was my first session from my new site at the limit of the city, so
    a sky not as dark as I used to have in St-Bonaventure. Because of that
    I saw only the brightest objects I targeted to observe. These were USA 81
    and Milstar 3 which passed very close to Rigel in Orion. The positions :
    21949 92 023A   1746 G 20000124223740000 37 25 0607750+360600 68 S+040 07
    25724 99 023A   1746 E 20000124231804800 37 25 0518420-075200 68 S+060 07
    While preparing for another a NOSS obs, I saw Mir between the 2 buildings
    where I live and decided to go to the parking lot to follow it unobstructed.
    My move was greeted with a spectacular flare reaching mag -5 to -6, very
    similar to an Iridium flare, but with a bluish white color at around 22:51:35
    UTC (Jan. 24). Mir was then at about 30 deg. elevation and 50 deg. azimuth.
    It then returned to its nominal -2 mag before entering shadow shortly after.
    Of the 3 old NOSS objects I targeted, I saw only NOSS 3 C briefly so I
    could not get a good timing or position. It appeared to be on time though
    using the elset :
    NOSS 3 (C)
    1 11731U 80019C   00009.78976891  .00000420  00000-0  30160-3 0    07
    2 11731  63.4310 295.5623 0559000 340.3936  19.6064 13.40678842    00
    Its mag was around 8.5. Because of the cold, my eyes caused some fog on
    the eyepieces of my binoculars, so I had difficulty seeing faint stars.
    Daniel Deak
    Drummondville, Québec
    COSPAR site 1746 : 45.8537°N, 72.4857°W, 90 m., UTC-5:00
    E-mail :        ICQ : 52770063
    Site en francais sur les satellites:
    French-language satellite web site :
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