Two flaring geosats

From: Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Date: Mon Sep 24 2001 - 04:25:44 EDT

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    Last night (Sunday PM local; Sept. 24 UTC) clouds and rain 
    prevented observing for quite a while, but later it was 
    clearing so I went to the museum grounds nearby (30.307N, 
    97.727W, 150m) and with my 10x50 binoculars managed to see 
    two flaring (+7?) geosats which I've identified as Anik F1 
    (26624, 00-076A, second time in a few nights) and later 
    XM-2 (26724, 01-012A).  Conditions weren't great, so they 
    were not easy to see.  My best sky position still seems to 
    be just south of a pair of stars, 15 and 16 Aquarii 
    (2000 RA 21:18:10.3, Dec -4.52, mag. +5.8, and 21:21:02.3, 
    -4.56, +5.9, respectively, according to HomePlanet).  For 
    one thing, it's easy to see the progress of those two 
    stars going just to the north of a satellite.  I also 
    looked at around 00:00, -5, and 23:00, -5, but didn't see 
    any.  However, theoretically it's still nine days before 
    the optimum date for our latitude.  Weather may be much 
    better for the next few nights, but of course the Moon 
    will be shining brightly.
    
    Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas, USA
    
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