Sat Sightings

Frank Reed (
Wed, 01 Apr 1998 13:28:50 -0700

I observed the following satellites last evening in unusually black skies
for this urban location using 10x50 binoculars unless otherwise noted.  All
times are local (MST = UT - 7:00) March 31, 1998.

COSMOS 1184, 80044A, approx. 19:39 

Visible at 1x.

IRIDIUM 28, 17043D, approx 19:48

I attempted but failed to sight this one as it crossed the tip of the ladle
of the little dipper at 25 deg elevation, but easily sighted it as it rose
into the inverted ladle of the big dipper at about 40 deg elevation.  It
grew unexpectedly bright as it reached culmination and was visible at 1x
for about three minutes at est. magnitude 4.  My guess is that it was
oriented within a few degrees of producing a flare.

SL-8 R/B, 74044B, approx 20:02

Unexpectedly bright, yellowish, easily visible at 1x, est. magnitude 3-4.

IRIDIUM 25, 97043B, approx.20:07

Easily sighted near culmination.  Est. magnitude 5.

COSMOS 1933, 8802A, approx. 20:21

Flashing, period appoximately 30 seconds, symmetrical mag. vs. time curve
with short flash of approx. 1 second to mag. 4, then suddenly dim to about
mag. 6, then slowly brightening to about mag 4, slowly dimming to about mag
6, and repeat.  I observed three complete cycles, approximating the period
by mentally counting seconds.

Frank Reed
Scottsdale, AZ, USA, 111.898 deg W, 33.484 deg N