Re: All that glitters is USA 32...

From: Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Date: Fri May 25 2001 - 17:20:32 PDT

  • Next message: Rick Baldridge: "Re: All that glitters is USA 32..."

    Matt Fawcett wrote regarding USA 32:
    
    > I've never seen anything like it.  No way of determining any 
    > kind of pattern for such rapid flashes.  Unusual behaviour - 
    > well worth checking this object out.  I wonder what part of 
    > the structure is causing this behaviour - is USA 32 tumbling?
    
    First, let me mention that USA 81 does the same thing as USA 32.
    Here are their identifications:
    
    USA 32, 19460, 88-078A
    USA 81, 21949, 92-023A
    
    Here are four informative messages about them in the SeeSat-L 
    archives (first three from one thread; fourth one stand-alone):
    
     http://www2.satellite.eu.org/seesat/May-1997/0183.html
     http://www2.satellite.eu.org/seesat/May-1997/0185.html
     http://www2.satellite.eu.org/seesat/May-1997/0189.html
     http://www2.satellite.eu.org/seesat/Mar-1998/0268.html
    
    I first learned about their behavior from Mike McCants, and in 
    quite a few observations have concluded that the wild sparkling
    that they do is probably predictable, like a "flare" -- but one 
    produced by a (rapidly) rotating multifaceted reflector.  So I 
    think a concerted effort to gather observations might produce a 
    means of at least saying something like, "On such-and-such type 
    of a pass, you can expect the bright sparkling at such-and-such 
    a point during the pass."  Mike pointed out to me long ago, and 
    it still seems fully accurate, that they glitter or sparkle most 
    brightly at least when south of us, after culmination.  It may 
    be that they have other consistent sparkle times as well.
    
    Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas, USA
    
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