Re: How Visible Will ISS (Babylon) Be???
Mon, 21 Dec 1998 16:45:54 EST

>When I began observational astronomy 5 years ago, I recall hearing,"if
>it wasn't for the bright  magnitude of Jupiter, the 4 moons of Jupiter
>(Io, Ganymede etc.) would be visible naked eye. Without researching and 
>not knowing what the reflective magnitude is from Jupiter's moons I'll
>assume this is absolute truth.

>Now, if this is true and the brilliance of Jupiter's reflection
>prevents this naked eye ability to see the moons. Will it be possible if
>conditions are at their best, does anyone know if there is a chance we
>would be able to see the ISS/Babylon's actual structure "Naked eye"?

A good way to see why Jupiter's moons are not visible. Try this experiment
tonight.  Although you can see and even read a license plate on a car with
your head lights, once the other car turns on it's headlights, the license
plate disappears in the brilliance of the light.  What is actually happening
is the brightness of Jupiter's moons is blended into that of Jupiter's
brilliance.  The ISS will be extremely visible and with the correct equipment,
resolvable.  Hopefully, news agencies world wide will inform the public as to
that new bright object in the night sky being the ISS and not space aliens or
"falling stars"

Of course I anticipate N. Korea telling its people that it is the recently
launched (and ill-fated) N. Korean space satellite.