TiPS Observation

william welker (wwelker@nyx.cs.du.edu)
Sat, 20 Jul 1996 23:01:44 -0600 (MDT)

This may be a first.  I caught a favorable pass of TiPS tonight, 0405 UT
21 July.  Watching just south of Denver CO, but still in the bright metro
area, it was the first time the weather cooperated.  With the sky quite
bright from city lights, I could just make out the faint band of light
between the two masses.  I could just perceive a mass at each end but
could not distinguish any size difference and really could not see any
brightening at the ends.  I was using 7 X 50 binoculars.  I was just
admiring the spooky appearance when Arcturus (Alpha Bootes) entered my
field of view. I knew the pass would not be an occultation, but it was fun
watching the close approach.  TiPS passed just a fraction of a degree west
of Arcturus, with the faint line between the two masses canted about 15 to
twenty degrees off a 90 degree perpendicular to its direction vector. 
Something like this: 
                                        * Arcturus 
(direction    <-------------------------\--------------------
 of motion)
                                E
                              S   N (Looking up into the sky)
                                W 

Just as it passed, tangent to Arcturus, I caught a crisp flash, first from
the Eastern most body and then from the Western most body.  I believe the
source of the flash was from Arcturus! 

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**  Bill Welker   ** wwelker@diac.com  **  no affiliation to anyone  **
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