Obs of TDF 1 (88-98A, 19621) Feb 8/9, 2000

From: Mike McCants (mikem@fc.net)
Date: Wed Feb 09 2000 - 07:04:46 PST

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    As Ed Cannon posted, he spotted flashes from TDF-1 about
    1:48UT Feb 9 from BCRC (30.31N, 97.86W).
    I watched it through my 8 inch telescope for a little
    over 11 minutes.
    The initial pattern was a primary flash (called A) and
    a secondary flash (called B) separated by about 16.4 seconds.
    Over a few minutes time, A became fainter and B became brighter.
    After about 3 minutes, a new flash (called C) appeared about
    0.3 seconds before B.  A continued to decline in brightness
    and B was brightest.
    After about another 3 minutes, C became the brightest and
    B became fainter.  A was visible only as a 10th magnitude
    Over the next 4 minutes, C gradually decreased to about 7th
    magnitude.  At this point I decided the show was over and stopped
    So it would seem that reflections from 3 different solar panels
    are being observed and that each panel rises to a maximum over
    a period of about 4 minutes and then falls back to invisibility
    over about 4 minutes.  Time to dust off the tape recorder.  :-)
    I agree that the flashes appear to be 12 minutes later each day.
    The timed period of Feb 6 was 33.00, the timed period last night
    was 32.71 seconds.  This difference of 0.29 seconds is "not a
    88- 98 A 00-02-06 01:26      MM  528.0 0.3  16 33.00
    88- 98 A 00-02-09 01:59:36.9 MM  457.9 0.2  14 32.71
    Alcir Carra wrote:
    >So, the
    >question is: the one-power flashes may be visible at different times for
    >observations at different locations?
    Mike McCants
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