ETS-6 observation

From: Edward S Light (
Date: Sat Jan 08 2000 - 07:11:47 PST

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    Prompted by recent postings by Ed Cannon and Rob Matson, we tried to see
    ETS-6 (94-056A = 23230) last night (01/07/2000 EST) just before shadow
    entry, which was to be at around 04:07.3 UTC on 01/08/2000.  Fortunately,
    we had our binoculars because, at least in our 4th magnitude sky, we
    wouldn't have seen anything naked eye.
    When we started looking with our binoculars, we first noted a flash at
    about 04:04:40 UTC below beta Eridani and from then until shadow entry
    the object flashed every 4 or so seconds - every other maximum MAY have
    been brighter than the intervening ones implying a period of about 8
    seconds, but we're not positive.  The brightest flash we saw was no
    brighter than about 6th magnitude, hardly the dazzler Rob described - I
    imagine the latitude of the observer (strictly, the satellite-o-centric
    latitude) has a major influence on the brightness of the flashes.
    Regardless, for we who "specialize" in LEO binocular objects, it was
    exciting to see something 5300 miles [8500 km] away.
    Clear and dark skies!
    Ed and Darlene Light
    Lakewood, NJ, USA
    40.107 N, 074.232 W 
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