01-049B and other small satellites

From: Michael Waterman (mike.waterman@web-hq.com)
Date: Fri Oct 17 2003 - 06:49:12 EDT

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    Bruce MacDonald asked: if anyone here has seen the
    microsatellite (26958,  01-049B).
    
    I have looked for many small satellites for many years,
    sometimes successfully.
    
    Most microsatellites are not stabilized, so usually spin
    slowly. Most are boxy, with flat surfaces.
    This means that in practice they are invisible most of the
    time, but will occasionally reflect the sun from a flat surface,
    when they will be visible, typically mag 7, occasionally much
    brighter. A bit like a small unpredictable Iridium.
    
    My method is to use binoculars on high passes on a dark night, 
    and try to look for it at several points along its track.
    
    With 01049B I have tried about 100 points on 60 passes, so
    far without success.
    
    Mike Waterman
    
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