Re: only two out of three

From: Jeff Umbarger (jumbarger2000@yahoo.com)
Date: Fri Jun 24 2005 - 16:07:53 EDT

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    Wow Ed,
         I was thinking the same thing about the plethora
    of flaring objects of late. I watched the NOSS 2-1
    triplet come out of eclipse high in my NNE at 8 UT
    (3am local time) next to Cygnus. Absolutely
    spectacular. The haze was so bad that I couldn't even
    see the any stars of Cygnus except Deneb. And yet all
    three - as they emerged - were as bright as Deneb. And
    then off to the NNE they went. I believe that they
    were headed almost directly at the sun from my
    perspective, going over the top of the earth. This
    seems to make them flare (and maybe "flare" is a
    misnomer since they stay bright to about 30 deg
    elevation). I've seen this effect for 5 years now -
    late summer night, the triplets emerging straight up,
    off to the NE, brilliant. Will look for Superbird
    tonight (BTW, what's a geosynch sat doing at -12 deg
    Dec. for Austin TX? Is there something wrong with it?)
    Also have a 70 deg in the West - northbound pass of
    Cosmos 1 - can't hurt to look!
    
         Regards,
              Jeff Umbarger
              Plano, TX USA
              Lat  +33.06946
              Long -96.76807
              200 meters
              CDT (-5 UT)
    --- Ed Cannon <ecannon@mail.utexas.edu> wrote:
    
    > Thanks to those who replied several days ago to my
    > report of one
    > of the NOSS 2-3 objects being invisible when the
    > other two were
    > easy to see.  Since then, including last night (June
    > 24 UTC) 
    > with haze and moonlight, all three of them were
    > visible without 
    > binoculars for a minute or two.
    > 
    > It's good to see good old Superbird A (89-041A,
    > 20040) -- every
    > night for a week or more now.  And now that the Moon
    > is getting 
    > out of the way and Superbird is getting higher in
    > the sky, it's 
    > a good time for anyone who hasn't seen it to try. 
    > It's been 
    > doing its thing near nu of Serpens Cauda (about
    > 17:20, -12.3); 
    > last night about 3:05-10 UTC (10:05-10 PM local
    > time) from here.
    > 
    > Recently we've seen a number of bright satellite
    > flares, and I
    > wonder how interested anyone is in knowing about
    > them.  Almost
    > any payload can do that, but it does seem to me that
    > I see more
    > of them around our summer solstice (plus or minus a
    > month or so).  
    > One "hotspot" is around the Big Dipper (UMa), with
    > sunsynch 
    > earth-observing payloads doing them.  But there have
    > been bright
    > flares in the south, southeast, and northeast also.
    > 
    > Last night there was a prediction for Cosmos 807 Rk
    > (76-022B,
    > 08745) low in the west at twilight, but I was not
    > able to see 
    > it.  Its orbital height was under 224 km (140
    > miles), so it must
    > be nearing re-entry.
    > 
    > Cosmos 1 comment.  Even though, if its launch had
    > been nominal, 
    > I would not have expected to see Cosmos 1 in
    > twilight with my 
    > 8x42, and even though by the time of the pass I knew
    > that it 
    > seemed not to have made it to the expected orbit, I
    > tried to 
    > see it the evening of the launch and appreciate the
    > opportunity 
    > (preliminary elements, Heavens-Above.com pass
    > predictions, etc.).  
    > I know it's been a bitter disappointment to the
    > folks who've 
    > worked on the mission, and I hope there's better
    > luck in the 
    > future.  
    > 
    > Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas,
    > USA
    > 
    >
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