Gorizont 14 and probably GSTAR 3

From: Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Date: Wed Oct 03 2001 - 05:26:03 EDT

  • Next message: Ted Molczan: "RE: unknown flash"

    Probably mostly due to the full Moon I only saw eight flaring 
    geosats last night.  One of the ones in the 21:00 RA area got 
    up to at least +5 for just two or three minutes or so, while 
    two in the 00:00 RA area got that bright also but stayed 
    bright for several minutes.  
    I wonder if a different type of solar panel might explain
    the ones flaring three hours before shadow entry.  Here's an
    illustration of one of the XM Radio satellites that shows the
    three-sided shape (three sides of a trapezoid) of the panels:
    I don't have any idea which other ones might have that type 
    of panels.
    My consolation for so few geosats was finding Gorizont 14 
    (17969) and then an unexpected one near it:
    87- 40 A 01-10-03 04:43:30   EC 2715.1 0.4  31 87.58  +6->inv
    While I was watching it, another one flashed about three 
    degrees to the east of it in my FOV.  As they were both around 
    -17 declination, my best guess at the moment is that the UNID 
    was probably GSTAR 3 (19483, 88-081A).  I saw only three or 
    four flashes of this one; two were separated by about 3:32, 
    and another "split" was about 7:05 (caught while I continued 
    to time Gorizont 14).
    The ISS pass last night was really pretty!
    Observing site was 30.315N, 97.866W, 280m.
    Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas, USA
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