Superbird distractions and Iridium 920 spectacle

From: Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Date: Fri Jun 11 2004 - 05:47:11 EDT

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    After three nights of rain, we had a pretty nice evening.  I
    managed to get Superbird (89-041A, 20040) near the beginning
    of the episode, but it had double interference.  First, a 
    highly retrograde, very faint object went past it, going 
    south.  I've identified that as 65-078B, 01616, OV1 2 Rk, 
    inclination about 144.  After that one got too faint, I went 
    back to Superbird.  Then there was a slow flash below it.  
    Gorizont 13 (17083) has already come back around.  PPAS:
    
    86- 90 A 04-06-11 03:19:23   EC  690.9 0.2   8 86.36  +5.0->inv
    
    I timed Superbird from 3:01:13.4 until I left it at 3:07:35.8 
    June 11 UTC.
    
    Iridium 920 (97-034C, 24871) was quite spectacular on a pass
    that culminated at alt. 41, azi. 278.  Before culmination it 
    did two quick groups of bright flashes and then a minute 
    later did two more.  The brightest ones were about 1.3 seconds 
    apart, but secondaries were visible with magnification.
    
    The NOSS 2-2 triangle was again visible without binoculars.
    They are 91-073 C, D, and E (21799, 21808, 21809).  Just 
    before them USA 129 (96-072A, 24680) did one of its best 
    passes, easy to see without binoculars for at least a minute.
    
    Twice recently Mike has had predictions low in the south for 
    XTE (95-074A, 23757, the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer -- 
    http://heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/xte/XTE.html --), and I've 
    been able to see it with 8x42.  
    
    NOSS 3-2 A and C (03-054A and C; 28095 and 28097) unexpectedly
    passed very near, just above Comet C/2001 Q4 (NEAT).  Earlier
    Mike got C/2002 T7 (LINEAR) with the scope, and I think I was
    able to see it some minutes later, when the sky got darker, 
    with my 8x42.
    
    Milstar 3 (99-023A, 25724) was visible without binoculars for
    a lot of its pass.  It did two flashes about 116-117 seconds 
    apart.  The first was about zero magnitude.
    
    The usual spring-summer low clouds from the Gulf of Mexico 
    came in soon after 11:00 PM local (4:00 UTC).
    
    BCRC observing site: 30.315N, 97.866W, 280m.
    
    Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas, USA
    
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