New Observer / Iridium 19 Delta r observed

Richard Baldridge (
Thu, 16 Apr 1998 09:16:00 -0700

First, let me introduce myself.  My name is Rick Baldridge and I
subscribed to See-Sat over a year ago but had to drop out for awhile.
I'm an experienced satellite observer with over five years of observing,
however, I have not yet gotten into making regular, standardized reports
as yet.  My main interest is to popularize observing through newsletter
articles, amateur astronomy meeting talks, etc.  I have an image
intensifier slung onto a Canon L-1 Hi8 camera which does very well and
recording satellites <7th magnitude in real time.  I'm close enough to
Vandenberg AFB to see launches low to my south and have recently seen
and videotaped 2 Pegasus drops off the Monterrey coastline.  By
profession I'm a Process Engineer for Litton in Silicon Valley, making
wireless transceivers for the cell-phone market.  I am also a member of
the International Occultation Timing Association (IOTA) and greatly
enjoy using the videocamera for asteroid appulses and lunar
occultations.  My normal observing position is at home in Campbell,
California, USA at 37.272N. 121.977W, 72M Alt.  Glad to be aboard!
IRIDIUM 19 Delta r seen April 16

Easily saw Iridium 19 Delta r (24970) this morning on orbit #3161
nearing decay.  My observation put it 3 seconds LATE from the element
set below by Alan Pickup (his second el-set of four transmitted
yesterday).   Mid-time of the observation was 12:12:40U.T.  The
satellite of course was very swift (but not burning yet!) and was 2nd
magnitude dispite the high sun-sat-observer angle of 120 degrees.  With
the following el-set, Quicksat program shows a height of 135 miles, or
217 km.

Iridm 19 Delta r 5.9  2.4  0.0  5.6 d            212 x 177 km
1 24970U 97056F   98106.50209041  .03773095  82690-2  82413-3 0 92707
2 24970  83.5862 264.6300 0026828 282.3152  77.3846 16.29419796 31616