Re: Reported geosynch flasher Gorizont 14 now rising for USA

Jason Hatton (jason.hatton@etss.u-strasbg.fr)
Thu, 09 Apr 1998 11:04:40 +0000

Ed Cannon wrote:
> 
> Gorizont 14 (17969, 87-40A) is another geosynch flasher first
> reported to SeeSat-L by Tony Beresford I believe
> With a period of about 85 seconds, and maximum mag. of approx.
> +3.5 to +3.0 according to Tony, Gorizont 14 is now rising in the
> east for the USA.

It's more or less due south at the moment for European observers. The
clouds cleared for about an hour last night, so I had a look for it from
20:30 UT to 21:00 UT (8-Apr-98). I used both 10x50 binoculars & a 6"
telescope but didn't see anything. Maybe the spacecraft is tumbling in
more than one axes, so it might not flash all the time or the visibility
of the flash depends on latitude?

I've come across an interesting source of technical info on the Gorizont
satellites which might explain why they flash. As well as solar panels,
some Gorizonts have a large phased array antenna with a flat aluminum
plate on the back of the antenna - sounds like a reflector. Also there
are some silver heat pipes. 

Best Wishes & clear skies!,

Jason
-- 
Jason P Hatton
INSERM U311
ETS Strasbourg
10 Rue Spielmann
67065 Strasbourg Cedex
France

48.538N / 7.731E / 143m