Mir & debris: obs. & questions

Bill Krosney (bkrosney@MBnet.MB.CA)
Tue, 18 Jun 1996 12:43:00 -0500 (CDT)

Finally posting my observation of an excellent Mir pass.

Had an near zenith pass of Mir on 04:53 June 16/96 UT.  QuickSat predicted
a phase angle of 64 degrees and a range of 417 km. at my selected obs.
point along Mir's track.

Observed this point from 04:42 to 04:54 (11 minutes before Mir to 1 minute
after) with 10x50 binoculars.

Observed 30 pieces preceding Mir and 1 following.  None seen in the same
field of view as Mir, although several were observed as two and one was seen
as three objects in the same field of view.  Most appeared steady, some
were flashing.  I estimated most of the magnitudes in the 6.5 to 7.5 range.
The brightest was probably 5.0 to 5.5


I suppose I and many others are curious about the nature of this debris.
It certainly looks like there is an association with the debris and EVA
activity.  Both the EVA's of June 06 and 16th were followed by debris
sightings close to Mir.  Looking back at my notes, debris sightings from
others back in Oct. '95 appear to have followed EVA activity then.

Is this a somewhat regular occurrence?  Back in Oct. 95 someone commented
that the Soviets do "dump trash" every so often.  The recent abundance of
debris seems to indicate  that this is more than just dumping trash.

If we could expect debris sightings to accompany EVA activty, is there a
schedule of planned EVA's for the Mir crew?

Anyone finding out more on this please post to SeeSat.

Thanks and clear skies.....Bill

e-mail: bkrosney@richgreen.com  (work)
        bkrosney@mbnet.mb.ca    (home)