NEAR sunglint(s) 1/23/98 (UT)

Ralph McConahy (
23 Jan 1998 08:04:53 -0800

  NEAR Sunglint(s) Observation Report
  Location: 117.0064W  34.8829N  670m
  Sky condition: Good, small amount of light pollution from city lights.
  Used 10 x 50 binoculars, resting in a recliner.
  Field of view was such that the distance between Per-delta and Per-nu took 
  up about 75% of my field. From my vantage point, a line drawn between these 
  two would be almost parallel with the horizon at about 50 deg elevation.
  NEAR's observed path was midway between these two stars, somewhat closer to 
  Per-delta. It began about 3 degrees above the line, moving perpendicular to 
  it, to about 7 degrees below the line trailing off toward the right (north).
  UT times below from WWV. Unless the word "about" is used, accuracy of times 
  below is -0 to +2 seconds. UT date: 1/23/98.
  06:39:18  First picked up NEAR. It was already beginning to flare.
            About mag 7 or 6 and rapidly decreasing.
            Mag peaked out between 1.5 and 1.8 and lasted for about
            25 seconds centered about 06:40:00.
  06:40:58  All evidence of flare gone but I continued to follow NEAR at
            about mag 8 or 9. 
            I decided to try to see how long I could follow it at this
            magnitude, when, much to my delight, at . . .
  06:43:48  NEAR began to flare a second time!
            This flare had a peak mag of 2.8 to 3, max about 06:44:10.
  06:44:33  Second flare complete, continued to follow NEAR at mag 9.
  06:45:50  NEAR became too dim to see.
  --Ralph McConahy