Iridium 13 Flare + Taurus Launch

Date: Sun Mar 12 2000 - 02:32:36 PST

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    Iridium 13 put on an impressive show for the Los Angeles Astronomical Society 
    for their star party at the Griffith Observatory (34.1167N, 118.3000W 357m 
    ASL). It flared to the predicted -7 mag at 03:37:50 UTC 12 March in the 
    center of the Little Dipper (11az, 28el).  
    Iridium 11 (04:20 UTC 12 March) and Iridium 14 (03:19 UTC 12 March) provided 
    some nice 1x flashes.  Other 1x passes were visible from OCS as it passed 
    above alpha Per (310az, 40el) at 03:56 UTC and Seasat as it passed below 
    Rigel (240az, 30el) at 04:28.  None of the 1x passes manage to trigger the 
    cheers that the Iridium 13 flare did.
    Observed the Taurus launch from Arcadia (34.1397N, 118.0344W, 148m ASL).  
    Apologies for not recording accurate times.  Many thanks to Richard Baldridge 
    for providing help and data for the track.  It launched about 5 minutes into 
    the launch window.  Shortly after acquiring it I believe that I observed the 
    1st stage separation.   The flame from the 2nd stage reached about 0.5 deg 
    and was about a -2.5 mag.   Just as it passed alpha Hya the next stage 
    separated and the third stage ignited a few seconds later. At this time the 
    track was about 5 deg higher in elevation than predicted. The final stage 
    burned for a few minutes and shut off.  The track of the launch never seemed 
    to lover in elevation.
    Don Gardner  
    39.1796 N, 76.8419 W, 34m ASL (Normally)
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    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sun Mar 12 2000 - 02:33:35 PST