Re: Flashing Geosyncs 25 March 2003 UTC

From: Ed Cannon (
Date: Wed Mar 26 2003 - 05:29:14 EST

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    Don observed Gorizont 16 (19397, 88-071A) and Cosmos 2282
    (23168, 94-038A) on March 25.
    I haven't been able to find Cosmos 2282 with my 10x50s
    the last few opportunities, but I did find Gorizont 16 
    from BCRC just a few nights ago.  However, on Sunday 
    evening (early March 24 local time), from a dark-sky site
    with near-perfect weather and no moonlight, I couldn't 
    find it.  So apparently it fades out at some point during 
    the evening (?).
    Flashing geosat mystery -- Since January, as the Sun has
    moved north from near December solstice to March equinox, 
    the DSP USA 39 (20066, 89-046A) has continued to have a 
    peak flash time *here* for a few minutes right around 
    10:00 PM (local, 4:00 UTC), such that I've been able to 
    see it with my 10x50s a number of times, on very good 
    nights.  So, what hypotheses are offered to explain how 
    it can continue to flash at the same time each night?  
    (The latest obs was at the dark-sky site, which is about 
    100 to 120 km northwest of Austin.)
    A museum's mock-up of DSP 1 is pictured here:
    This fact sheet has an illustration from a different angle:
    I think that USA 39 probably is fairly similar in design.
    Ed Cannon - - Austin, Texas, USA
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