Tumblers Cosmos 2327 Rk, ASTRO-D Rk, and Iridium "920"

From: Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Date: Tue Jul 11 2000 - 02:33:38 PDT

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    Last night Mike McCants had predictions for a pair of objects
    to be quite close together and traveling in the same direction.  
    One of them, Cosmos 2327 Rk (96-004B, 23774) was tumbling very
    nicely with a period of about 8.5 seconds.  This seems to be 
    significantly different from the online PPAS recent observations
    data, which are from 1999.  Here's a PPAS format report:
    96-  4 B 00-07-11 04:39:39   EC  161.4 0.5  19  8.50  
    Recently I've observed the ASTRO-D (or ASCA) Rk (93-011B, 22522)
    several times tumbling from about 4.0-4.5 to nearly invisible, 
    but it's been so erratic that I have yet to be able to get a 
    flash period for it.  It has very quick minima, so I guess I'll 
    have to try timing those next time I get a chance, even though 
    they don't seem very regular either.
    The last object we observed, Iridium 920 (24871, 97-34C; formerly
    Iridium 20) was tumbling very rapidly, on the order of twice per 
    second.  However, Mike said in the telescope it was only hitting 
    three out of four.  It was pretty faint in binoculars.  But it 
    seems that it could be quite spectacular when conditions are 
    Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas, USA
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