Sue J. Worden (
Sun, 21 Mar 1999 00:55:17 -0600 (CST)

Ed Cannon wrote:
> Heads up! [ ... ] a very interesting pair of passes -- Iridiums 20 and 44
> following almost exactly the same track at almost exactly the same time!

The paired Iridium 20 and Iridium 44 (24871/97-34C & 25078/97-77B) made
a very nice pass as viewed tonight from our dark sky site at Canyon of the
Eagles (30.884 N 98.430 W 1050 ft; 01:44:05 21 March 1999 UTC culmination).

The two satellites remained within a degree of each other throughout the
pass, flying in formation like two-thirds of a NOSS triangle, and both
flashing like crazy.  Way cool. :-)

Last October, I reported that I thought I had seen Cosmos 389 flashing
(4813/70-113A).  Tonight at Canyon of the Eagles, after all these months,
I finally got a good pass of this satellite and a chance to confirm my
previous observation.  It was steady throughout the pass.

Thanks to the generosity of another Austin Astronomical Society member,
I was finally able to observe Vanguard 1 (5/58-2B) tonight through his
big light bucket.  The oldest satellites still up there hold some kind
of fascination for me that I can't quite explain.  I am -thrilled- to
have finally nailed the "oldest goodie". :-) :-)

When I left the observing site tonight, Mike McCants and Ed Cannon were
just getting settled in for several hours of geosynch hunting.  I'll let
them report the rest of what we saw tonight and, of course, what they saw
after I left.

--Sue Worden (