Thursday 26 November 2009

More flares by GOCE!

After my observation of GOCE (09-013A), ESA's Gravity field and steady state Ocean Circulation Explorer, mildly flaring at 19 November (see here and here), I observed it flaring again on two other occasions: November 25 and November 26th.

Times of these new flares were 17:14:43.6 UTC (Nov 25) and 17:10:25.8 UTC (Nov 26). The November 25th flare was again of about +2.5 magnitude. The November 26th flare had cloud interference.

Below are two images of the November 25th flare (one full, in negative to show the very faint non-flare part of the trail; and a detail of the flare part), and the resulting brightness profile. FWHM of the flare peak is ~0.4s.

click images to enlarge

click diagrams to enlarge

The observation of the flare of the 26th was hampered by clouds. In fact, I only just managed to photograph the satellite at culmination through a temporary gap in the cloud cover. Still, the image (see below) clearly shows it flaring again, quite similar to how it did the evening before:

click images to enlarge

Note that these flares are probably cases where my observing locality was not that near to the central flare path. In fact, the theoretical flare path for the solar panel that probably caused these two flares of the 25th and 26th was over the UK, not the Netherlands.

I have to wait untill I have the opoortunity to observe a flare when the theoretical center of the flare path is closer to my location. Earliest opportunity, weather willing, is next Sunday evening.

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