Thursday, January 11, 2007

Lacrosse 5 flare, and comet C/2006 P1 McNaught

The weather persistently has been very bad since 1 January. Today was the first day I have seen a satellite again.

This evening I observed Lacrosse 5 (05-016A) in a clear sky and saw it briefly flare from mag. +2 to mag. +0.5 during about 2-3 seconds at 18:08:27 ± 5 s UTC.

But allas I have no positions to report. When the camera tried to write the first image to the CF card, a writing error occurred and the image data got corrupted. I had to restart the camera, made a mistake in the settings (forgot the 10 second self-timer), so lost a second imaging opportunity, and then the sat disappeared behind the roof.

Al this while it was very windy. An hour earlier, windforce shortly reached storm values.

Earlier this evening (from another location), during this stormy phase, I caught a glimpse of comet C/2006 P1 McNaught, in deep twilight a few degrees above the horizon. Not very spectacular under these conditions but at least I have seen it. I even could see a short tail by the naked eye.

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