STS-107 evening passes this week (?)

Date: Tue Jan 21 2003 - 22:04:17 EST

  • Next message: paul: "obs 22jan"

    I was surprised to get an evening twilight prediction for STS-107 
    this evening, low in the north just after 6:30 p.m. local.  (I did
    not see it this time.)  Its mean motion is about 15.99, so unless 
    it maneuvers, similar passes will occur each evening twilight.  
    Our predictions get pretty good for this weekend -- again barring 
    a maneuver.  So, north Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, etc., 
    might want to loosen your evening twilight parameter in your 
    prediction program(s).  NASA does not (yet) show any evening 
    predictions for Austin.  I haven't checked yet.
    A while ago from outside my office here I saw 13 satellites, no
    binoculars (and no stopwatch) -- and not one was an Iridium flare:
    25063 97-074A TRMM
    09329 76-073B Comstar 2 Rk (Atlas Centaur, flash per. about 22 sec.*)
    11671 80-005A Cosmos 1151
    12908 78-016C Fltsatcom 1 Rk (Atl. Cent., flash per. about 11.5 sec.)
    24842 97-030G Iridium 911 (-4 flash at about 1:15:08 UTC)
    25723 99-022C Abrixas Rk (seemed pretty steady at 1x)
    26473 00-047A Lacrosse 4 (very nice, bright pass, four minutes)
    25725 99-023B Milstar 3 Rk (Atl. Centaur, maxima at least +2.0)
    22076 92-052A Topex (flare +3 for several sec.)
    06153 72-065A OAO 3 (visible +3 for 15-20 sec.)
    25017 97-064A Lacrosse 3 (max about +2.5, WSW to north)
    24283 96-048B Chinasat 7 Rk (very slow tumble, two maxima, +3)
    11327 79-030B Cosmos 1092 Rk (not easy)
    *Comstar 2 Rk flashes were at least +2.5, which would give it a
    Quicksat/Highfly intrinsic magnitude brighter than +1!
    I admit I was cheating this time -- no moonlight.
    I think I was able to see Coriolis last night as well as TiPS.
    TiPS did at least one +5 flash from one of the end masses.  It
    is very neat in the telescope -- and that was only about 50x,
    I think.  
    Ed Cannon - - Austin, Texas, USA
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