Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Iridium 33 and Kosmos 2251 wreckages observed

I visually observed the main wrecks of both Iridium 33 and Kosmos 2251 with the Meade ETX-70 (7 cm F5 refractor) this evening.

The Iridium 33 wreckage (24946, 97-051C) was easy to see and notably irregular in brightness, with many short flashes (several per second, with a brighter one approximately each second. This is an estimate: I did not time them). I observed it as it passed close to Pollux near 19:55:10 UTC (11 March). At its brightest it might have been +6 or +6.5. I did not observe the kind of bright flares as reported by Simone from Italy yesterday.

The Kosmos 2251 wreckage (22675, 93-036A) was much fainter, about +8 at its brightest as it passed close to alpha Uma at 20:11:30 UTC. It too was irregular, but its brightness variation seemed slightly slower than that of the Iridium 33 wreckage.

I also observed Lacrosse 3 in twilight and got 6 positions on it.

No comments: