Mir Resolved; Lunar Iridium Flare

From: Ron Lee (ronlee@pcisys.net)
Date: Thu Mar 23 2000 - 21:15:16 PST

  • Next message: Ed Cannon: "Iridium 14 flash timings"

    This was a rather momentous observing session tonight.  Only
    two objects but both were unusual.
    First I noted a 67 degree elevation pass of Mir.  I set up
    the 8" telescope pointing opposite the max elevation azimuth
    and at a complementary elevation (23 deg).  As Mir rose from
    the NW, I acquired it in the finderscope.  After a few 
    adjustments, I finally saw it long enough in the main scope
    (F/10,  40 mm eyepiece)to see a rectangular object and 
    "possibly" with separation.  This is hardly a Ron Dantowitz
    observation but a first for me.
    Secondly, I had a predicted 8.5 magnitude lunar flare from
    Iridium 74 (#25345).  After pointing at the predicted position,
    I waited until 20 seconds before the event and waited.  Then
    a faint object was seen moving at the right place, time and
    direction.  I estimate the magnitude at 11.  Possibly a major
    reason for the difference from the predicted magnitude is that
    this was closer to last quarter than full moon.  The time was 
    04:33:38 UT on 24 Mar 2000.
    Prediction of this type event was courtesy Rob Matson as was
    the first event observed on 9 Jan 98.  Over two years to see
    another but many good events were clouded out or I was gone
    plus I only try them around full moon.  This event was marginal
    although another event scheduled for tomorrow night might be
    visible even though it is closer to last quarter.
    Two observations may not be enough to refine the prediction
    (mainly magnitude), but it sure proves that the first obs
    was not a fluke.
    Ron Lee
    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 : Thu Mar 23 2000 - 21:15:43 PST