Re: Two flashing geosynchs in one field

Mike McCants (
Fri, 17 Apr 1998 19:51:31 -0500 (CDT)

Ed Cannon wrote:

>I believe that tonight (18 April 1998 UTC) Superbird A and the 
>unidentified geosynch (called "Unknown" in the elsets below, the 
>most recent that I have) may be visible in the same telescope field 
>for at least some folks in the USA.  Mike McCants and I observed 
>both of them last night, but unfortunately, it's cloudy here tonight.  
>I saw one easy one-power flash from Superbird A sometime between 3:56 
>and 3:57 UTC (April 17), plus a few more in binoculars and telescope.

However, before we observed the unknown geosync flasher, we were
informed by Rob Matson that the old elset in the Molczan file
was in error by about 3 minutes.  Based on his observation, I
generated the following elset for this week's Molczan file:

1 98001U          98106.00224142  .00000000  00000-0  00000+0 0    09
2 98001   3.8800  59.7600 0001000  78.4789 281.5211  1.00266200    07

My observation last night was that this elset was within one
minute of the correct position.  Perhaps the mean motion should
be slightly smaller.  (1.002600)

This indicates that this object has decreased its mean motion
to end its easterly drift and start a westerly drift to maintain
its proper longitude.

The geosync flasher was observed to flash last night from about
3:55UT until about 4:05UT.  Its flashes were often bright at 3:55,
but seemed to be fading to mag 9 at 4:05.  We did not look for
it before 3:55.

Perhaps Superbird A and this object will be closer tomorrow night.

Mike McCants
Austin, Tx