ISS and Companions

From: Markus Mehring (
Date: Mon Oct 08 2001 - 15:41:00 EDT

  • Next message: Michael Gill: "ISS (plus another object) ; Iridium Double Flare"

    Hi list,
    The ISS manages to make continuous surprise performances for me.
    We've had rather unfavorable weather for quite a while, and last Saturday
    was no different. So it was pure coincidence that I was outside, only to
    see that the sky was utterly starless due to a high and very thick
    atmospheric haze. I was about to go back in when I noticed what looked like
    a flare in the SE, ~20 above the horizon. My first guess surely was
    Iridium, because of the notable intensity despite the thick haze, though it
    lasted much too long. Turned out to be the ISS, passing well over -2.5
    magnitude before shadow entry. Maybe the nicest ISS pass for me so far.
    Knowing that there will be more good ISS passes the following days, I took
    the chance to have a look at it with my binocs this evening, since the
    weather has cleared considerably. Interestingly enough, the ISS was (is, in
    fact) lead by a fainter object a slight bit below its direction of travel,
    and after a while I noticed that this leader was lead itself by a yet
    _much_ fainter object, again a bit lower. The entire formation spanned no
    more than 5, maybe 3 or less. I'm not aware as of now what these leading
    objects were (are), or if there were more of them too faint to be seen, but
    I'm sure I'll find out soon. :)
    CU!	Markus (E8.7434, N51.7264, 113m, MEST)
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