Wednesday, January 26, 2011

FIA Radar 1 flaring!

Yesterday evening I had a short clear window of opportunity before clouds rolled in. I tried in vain to spot Nanosail-D in deep twilight, and next targetted the FIA Radar 1 (10-046A) again.

Much to my surprise (as I had not see it do that before), it flared twice. At about 17:54:11 UTC (25 Jan) the first brief but bright flare, to mag. -1 occurred. Unfortunately, I was re-aiming the camera at that moment. The satellite flared again however, to mag. +0.5, at 17:54:37.0 UTC, and this time the camera was photographing. Below is the resulting image, and the brightness curve derived from it. It are actually two flares, as a slightly fainter flare at 17:54:35.7 preceeds the main flare.

click image to enlarge

click diagram to enlarge

Later that evening, during a second brief period of clear sky, I imaged Mentor 2 (98-029A) in Orion.

I also observed on the 20th (The FIA Radar 1 again, and Milstar 5r (02 001B)) and the 22nd (USA 200, 08-010A), during short clear spells.

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