[amsat-bb] viewing satellites
jdanehy at cinci.rr.com
Thu Nov 6 03:37:07 PST 2008
I said in my original post on this subject I am not here to persuade . . . I am interested in helping to understand (education) . . . AO 51 is 9" X 9" X 9" . . . see AMSAT website where they use ~25cm cubed . . . the ISS is ~10,000,000 cubic feet versus less than 1 cubic foot for AO 51 . . .YES you can "see" the sun reflect off the 10,000,000 cubic foot object but not the less than HALF A CUBIC FOOT AO 51
Like anything we all see REFLECTIONS of the sun; that is a physicists definition . . . without the sun you "see" nothing . . . I have SEEN the relatively large 300' X 225' X 150' ISS which is the sun's reflection . . . . I have seen dozens of Iridium flares which last for about 2 or 3 seconds depending on certain factors . . . no argument from me on whether someone "saw" something . .
. i guess if you think you saw something 9 " X 9" X 9" from 300 miles up you will continue to believe that . . . it just is not factual . . . . now the ISS is large enough . . . its star magnitude does vary depending on factors but is generally about a 1 which is certainly visible . . . as somebody said AO 51 would be a 15 or so magnitude which is way way beyond seeing . . . most very dim stars are 3 and 4 and believe me that is 100 db up (so to speak) from AO 51 at 15. As a matter of fact you can not see beyond a 4th magnitude star and if you are older your vision might not even allow that . . .
believe what you want ; I think physics is great (pretty factual). Folks believe in a lot of stuff but unfortunately a lot is not factual . . . the "glints" of sunlight off the Iridium satellites are spectacular though but last for a second or so . . . imagine seeing something the size of a 6 pack of beverages 300 miles up with you naked eye . . . . impossible . . .
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