Nimiqs -- mixed-up elements?

From: Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Date: Tue Mar 11 2003 - 06:17:28 EST

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    I wrote:
    
    pair in one FOV --
    25740 99-027A Nimiq 1        
    26038 99-071A Galaxy 11
    
    Kevin Fetter pointed out that Nimiq 2 (27632, 02-062A) is 
    now the operational one at 91 west and Nimiq 1 the back-up 
    at 82 west.  Mike checked elsets and found that they were 
    very close on about January 27.  (I had gotten the latest 
    five and found some significant mean-motion peculiarities.)  
    So it seems that SCC thinks that Nimiq 1 is still at 91 
    west, but it's really Nimiq 2 there now.  Maybe SCC didn't 
    see that memo yet.
    
    Echostar 3 (25004, 97-059A), which was one-power the 
    other night, was easily visible through the moonlit 
    cirrus clouds last night.  Both nights it disappeared 
    very quickly after being so bright, kind of a classic 
    "flaring before shadow entry" exhibition.  A few of them 
    in the past few nights have flared brightest around RA 
    10:30, others nearer to RA 11:00 (and shadow).  I haven't 
    yet managed to see (with binoculars) this time the ones 
    that before have flared hours before shadow entry:  Galaxy 
    11, XM-1, XM-2, and Anik F1.  (I think that GE 3 did so 
    also.)  May not see them with binocs this season, given 
    the waxing Moon.
    
    I want to emphasize what Mike wrote about the other day,
    that, (in my words) the flaring tends to be reduced 
    nearer midnight as opposed to earlier in the evening:
    
    http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Feb-2003/0469.html
    
    So the best time in general seems to be after they get up 
    out of the worst atmospheric extinction (or before 
    getting into it in the morning), but a couple of hours 
    before midnight.  So, I hope that someone east or west of 
    here will try to see the "five in one FOV" group (23192, 
    23553, 25937, 25954, 26985) flaring during the best 
    evening or morning times.  All five of them are well 
    within about one degree of sky.
    
    Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas, USA
    
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