Obs 970926 (RGL)

Ron Lee (ronlee@pcisys.net)
Thu, 25 Sep 1997 21:13:33

Between attempts at the new Intelsat and Vanguard 1 (missed both).
I saw a very bright object in the east.  At first I thought it was
a plane, then put on my glasses and noticed it was a satellite.

It was magnitude 0 or so and moved like an Iridium. Later checking
with Skymap showed it to be DMSP B5C-03 Rkt, #7412, 74-063 B.  It 
finally dimmed but was great while it lasted.

Then onto the new Molniya rocket pieces.   Molniya-M rkt, #24961, was
flashing up to 4th magnitude.  The bright period was very long with
perhaps a double maximum. The minimum was short and distinct so I 
changed my timing to coincide with the minimum.  PPAS format as follows:

Ron Lee, RGL, Lat = 38.9478, Long = -104.5614, Alt = 2073 m

97-054 B 97-09-26 02:30:.5   RGL  39.4 1.0   6  6.51 

The Molniya platform (#24962, 97-054 C) was steady, magnitude 8.5.

97-054 C 97-09-26 02:10      RGL                        steady, mag 8.5

Finally two Iridiums.  Iridium 10 (max elevation about 47 degrees in the east)
got up to magnitude 3-4 (evening pass).   A few minutes later, iridium 9
on a 56 degree pass in the east got up to magnitude -2 or so.  Now That I
have 
flaring passes, I need to observe both of these to monitor the brightness
change as a function of max elevation.  I suspect, based on other observer 
reports, that the negative magnitude flares only last about 3 days or so.
An interesting aspect of the Iridium 9 pass will be discussed in the near
future.

Ron Lee