Hitomi

From: William Keel via Seesat-l <seesat-l_at_satobs.org>
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2016 20:53:21 -0500
I just followed a Hitomi pass from Tuscaloosa, AL (0143 UT) with both 10x50 binoculars and the naked eye. It showed a strong, irregular flash pattern; at faintest it was invisible (certainly below visual magnitude 7), and one very brief flash reached magnitude 0. When at the greatest elevation, it went in and out of naked-eye visibility. Counting flashes in an arc, the typical time between was about 4 seconds. This looked a lot like the tumbling Iridium satellites - no simple repeating pattern. (This sounds discouraging - maybe still being spun up by venting of some kind???)

Last night, grad students and I got a trailed CCD image with the campus 0.4m telescope. No sign of any accompanying objects from 6-120 arc seconds cross-track with more than 5% of its brightness. Both passes were within a fraction of a degree of the Heavens-Above predictions.

Bill Keel


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William C. Keel                                        205-348-1641 (office)
Professor, Physics and Astronomy      205-348-5051 (fax)
Box 870324                                              205-348-5050 (dept.)
University of Alabama                             http://astronomy.ua.edu/keel <http://astronomy.ua.edu/keel>
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0324, U.S.A.    wkeel_at_ua.edu <mailto:wkeel_at_as.ua.edu>
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Received on Tue Mar 29 2016 - 20:54:07 UTC

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