Re: failed iridiums

JAY RESPLER (jrespler@superlink.net)
Wed, 02 Jun 1999 00:58:13 -0400

Nancy_D'Antuono@Brown.EDU wrote:
> > Did Iridium 48 fail?
> > On the Visual Stellite Home Page, iridium 48 is not listed as a failed
> > satellite, but on mike's site, it is listed as failed.
> > So iridium 85 failed, one less satellite to produce those great flares.
> 
> Maybe not.  I observed a near-overhead pass of Iridium 85 on the evening of
> 5/30 and it exhibited a complex pattern of brightenings and dimmings, punctuated
> by two strobe-like flashes of about mag -2.  The flashes were so brief that
> an accurate magnitude estimate was difficult, but they were at least that
> bright.

Working sats are held in a steady position. When they fail, they start tumbling
and can exhibit rapid brightness variations.  A tumbling Ir 48 indicates that it
has failed.

-- 
Jay Respler
--
          JRespler@superlink.net 
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