Non-Obs + Obs 12 March
Fri, 12 Mar 1999 22:01:56 EST

Perhaps some day there will be a Usenet Newsgroup:
sci.astro.satellites.non-visual-observe   :-)

The good news is that I'm getting a nice high elevation pass at the same time
every evening.  The bad news is that there is more ambient light at that time
with each passing day.   I could not acquire WIRE when it passed over alpha-
Gemini (110az, 75el) at 23:53:35 UTC nor when it passed to the right of Sirius
(180az, 37el).  I believe that if it were flashing I probably would have
acquired it.

Iridium 81:
I managed to briefly acquire this object on 2 passes:  23:59 UTC (100az, 25el)
and at 01:40 UTC (235az, 38el).  It was near the limit of visibility on both
passes.  I did not see any evidence of flashing.   Tomorrow's pass should be
better for observation. 

The ISS was a +2.0 as it passed over Polaris at 00:08:10 UTC.  As it passed
over the Big Dipper (35az, 48el) it brightened to a 0 mag.  It dimmed back to
a +2.0 as it passed under LEO (90az,30el).

There was a brief, low elevation 2nd pass this evening.  The ISS was no
brighter than a +4.0 after it passed Saturn (275az, 07el) at 01:42:20 UTC.

Iridium 18 flared to a -2 to -3 magnitude at 01:35:44.  The predicted
magnitude was -1.  Because the flare was brighter than advertised and it
stayed visible at 1x for about 20 seconds after the peak, I suspect that there
was reflection from another surface of the satellite.  Just a hunch.

Iridium 20 flash centers:
01:11:35 +/- 1.0 sec UTC (13 March)
01:14:29 +/- 1.0 sec UTC (13 March)

Final note:
Dr. Kelso communicated to me that he was having a temporary problem with his
ftp address.  He expects the problem to be resolved shortly. 

Don Gardner
39.1796 N,  76.8419 W, 34m ASL