Observing from Iowa

From: k4hsm@knology.net
Date: Thu Jun 25 2009 - 03:59:56 UTC

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    Out here in Truro, Iowa (south of Des Moines near the famous bridges of Madison County) and seeing one heck of a light show.  I'll recommend Iowa for anyone 
    wanting to go "bird" watching.  A lot of polar orbiting birds, and a couple of "close encounters" within moments of one another tonight.
    At 10:26 central time (GMT-5 I believe), to my south, (my coords, 41.2100°N, 93.8460°W) I witnessed a polar orbiting satellite traveling south, when another 
    satellite traveling northeast passed real close by within my field of view.  Both birds were mag 4-6 range, viewed only thru binoculars (some light pollution at the 
    home I'm staying) and about 45 degrees altitude, again, almost due south.
    Then just 3 minutes later (10:29 Central) to my east, about 50 degrees altitude a polar orbiting bird traveling south, and one traveling north came close together.
    I wish I'd been better prepared, because I've seen several low magnitude polar-orbiting birds, and one flare from iridium 30 at 10:34 Central.
    If anyone could assist IDing the close encounter birds, that'd be great, but I know the info I have is crude at best (when is it not?).
    Also saw a tumbler during this but was unable to get a time, other than it was traveling south in polar orbit and was after the two close encounters occurred.  
    One good thing about this area is according to H-A and Calsky, there's a lot of activity all night long.  Must be that high latitude.  :-)  Of course, I'm still trying to 
    get used to 10PM sunset/4:30AM sunrises, myself.  Too bad I go back home Friday.
    Greg Williams
    41.2100°N, 93.8460°W (Truro, Iowa)
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