Wednesday, August 13, 2008

IGS 1B flare, no Perseids

Yesterday was a strange evening. The day had been very clear, but with very strong wind (with gusts up to 100 km/h). In twilight, some clouds came in. It then got completely clouded, cleared again, and finally got clouded again, including a thunderstorm.

This all made me miss the Perseid meteor maximum. During the clearings however, I did manage to catch Lacrosse 2 (91-107A, in twilight), and the failed Japanese satellite IGS 1B (03-009B).

The latter was very bright (about +0.5) in the southeast and east. It then faded notably to +3, +3.5 just past east, and finally flared brightly to -1.5 in the northeast around 21:03:55 UTC.

I got three images of both satellites, totalling 11 positions (I dropped the faint trail end of the third IGS 1B image). The three IGS 1B images showed a second, very faint trail as well, which turned out to be the classified research MSX satellite (96-024A).

(click images to enlarge)

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