UNID, plus other things

From: Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Date: Thu Jun 20 2002 - 04:05:33 EDT

First, I want to echo others in expressing condolences 
to Bart for his loss -- and very much appreciation for 
going "above and beyond" in thinking about SeeSat-L 
during such a difficult time.

A while ago, 2002 June 20 03:15:20-03:16:20 UTC, I saw
a fairly fast-moving, northbound UNID.  I was looking at
MSX (23851, 96-024A) without binoculars, and this object 
caught my eye, perhaps very roughly at alt. 70, azi 60.  
I tracked it with binoculars.  It was tumbling on the 
order of 20 to 30 seconds.  I'm pretty sure that it went 
near RA 19:23, Dec +52.7 at about 3:16:20; its direction 
of motion there was close to straight down.  Using 
alldat.tle and Findsat, I get no candidates that seem to 
me to match well.  This was from 30.307N, 97.727W, 150m.

Earlier tonight had a very nice, very bright one-power 
perpendicular crossing of eastbound Atlas Centaur 2 
(00694, 63-047A) and southbound Meteor 1-7 Rk (04850, 

NOSS triangles.  NOSS 2-2 (91-076 C, D, and E; 21799,
21808, 21809) is/are making southbound evening passes 
now.  A while ago I was lucky to see them while our 
summer-night clouds were still just getting started.  
The "outlier" was the brightest and was easy to see 
without binoculars, but the other two were almost as 
bright and would have been visible without binoculars 
except for the moonlight.  I saw them from outside my 
apartment, 30.309N, 97.728W, 150m.  

Sunday night local time I saw what must have been a 
flash from Starshine 3 (26929, 01-043A)!  The time was 
about 2:19:51.50 June 17 UTC.  I was watching its 
predicted track without binoculars and saw a fast-
moving southbound zero magnitude flash that lasted at 
least 0.5 second.  I was surprised!  I was in San 
Antonio, Texas (29.400N, 98.660W, 210m).

Binoculars -- I want to add to the discussion of a few 
days ago that in another forum I've read that in very 
light-polluted areas (and in bright moonlight, and for 
older eyes), a smaller exit pupil (e.g., 5 mm instead of
7) might be somewhat better due to providing somewhat 
more contrast in the field of view.  (I'm not sure how 
applicable that is with point sources like satellites.)  
This would be 10x50 (what I use), 8x40, or 7x35 as 
opposed to 10x70, 9x63, 8x56, or 7x50 (all ideal for 
younger eyes in darker skies).  If one is choosing 
between 8x40 and 7x35, I would recommend 8x40 (or 8x42 
or 8.5x44).  I find that for most satellite purposes, 
the shaking of the 10x is tolerable, especially for 
tracking bright satellites.  It becomes a real problem 
when I'm trying to hold them still to look for a faint 
satellite at a certain RA-Dec position.  

Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas, USA

Unsubscribe from SeeSat-L by sending a message with 'unsubscribe'
in the SUBJECT to SeeSat-L-request@lists.satellite.eu.org

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Jun 25 2002 - 20:50:33 EDT