Satellite lunar transit

From: Bruno Tilgner (
Date: Fri Aug 17 2001 - 06:06:49 PDT

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    >Your next challenge is to observe a dark satellite
    >transit of the illuminated moon -- much more difficult and rare
    >since it requires the satellite to be large and at as minimal
    >a slant range as possible.
    You might also try a transit in front of the Sun. As the Sun shines
    much longer than the the Moon the probability of such an event is
    proportionally larger. The minimal slant range, in both cases,
    whilst it maximises the size of the satellite it minimizes the
    duration of the transit.
    The transit of a dark satellite is not simply a "negative image"
    of the transit of an illuminated satellite. You need a minimum
    aperture to resolve the satellite (not necessary in case of an
    illuminated object), and you need a minimum magnification for
    your eyes to see the object (also of no concern for a pointlike
    illuminated object).
    In practice, this limits the choice to ISS and perhaps a couple
    of very big satellites.
    Bruno Tilgner
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