Re: USA passes of new Titan IV

From: Ed Cannon (
Date: Fri Aug 10 2001 - 00:53:44 PDT

  • Next message: Russell Eberst: "AUG10.OBS"

    Mike McCants and I looked for several minutes for USA 159 Titan IV 
    (26881, 01-033B) but did not see it.  Conditions were excellent.
    Many stars visible in binoculars at only 10 degrees above horizon.
    I managed to see Intelsat 512 (85-087A, 16101) from the parking 
    lot of my apartment building from roughly 6:37:30 to 6:48:57, with
    the phase shift around 6:43 more or less.  As I don't yet have 
    another stopwatch, I just quickly wrote down wristwatch times 
    between flashes.  I missed at least one or two fainter flashes at 
    end due to some clouds showing up.  This one is still fairly 
    well-placed for west coast of USA, still before midnight local 
    time, but not for too much longer.  Flash period seems to be about 
    26.0 seconds now.  Using July 26 through August 10, phase shift 
    seems to be roughly 13 minutes later per night.  (Right, Björn?)
    Much earlier, from BCRC site, managed to see some flashes of 
    Gorizont 16 (88-071A, 19397) even though it was only about 17 
    degrees above the horizon.  It's still okay for west coast of USA.
    Recent easy one-power "sparkle" times for USA 81 (92-023A, 21949)
    -- approximate middle of about 10- to 20-second episodes (times 
    read from wristwatch):
    2001/08/05 - 3:26:00
    2001/08/06 - 2:56:40
    2001/08/07 - 2:27:40
    2001/08/08 - 3:38:53
    2001/08/09 - 3:09:07 (still 1x even with mediocre sky conditions)
    2001/08/10 - 2:39:45 (1x for many seconds in excellent sky)
    Reminder -- USA 32 (88-078A, 19460) does the same type of sparkling.
    I think this should be considered analogous to flaring by other 
    satellites; the difference is that with USA 32 and 81 the specular 
    surface(s) must be rotating, and that pretty rapidly.
    Ed Cannon - - Austin, Texas, USA
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