Re: Stardust Flyby?

From: Ralph McConahy (rmcconahy@earthlink.net)
Date: Sat Dec 09 2000 - 19:56:35 PST

  • Next message: Paul Gabriel: "obs 10 dec 00345.02631111"

    "Randy John" <skysat@home.com> wrote:
    > Cees,
    >     I too was interested in the Stardust flyby.
    > Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, it's not
    > going to get any closer than the moon.  You can
    > check it out yourself using Horizons at:
    > http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/horizons.html
    
    Horizons (using geocentric as "observing site") produces the following for
    Stardust:
    
     Date__(UT)__HR:MN     R.A.__(a-apparent)__DEC   1-way_LT
    *********************************************************
     2001-Jan-15 11:21     21 51 22.41 -39 44 17.9   0.000691
     2001-Jan-15 11:22     21 36 43.65 -40 15 07.6   0.000690
     2001-Jan-15 11:23     21 21 50.94 -40 38 58.7   0.000689
     2001-Jan-15 11:24     21 06 50.24 -40 55 34.7   0.000690
     2001-Jan-15 11:25     20 51 47.84 -41 04 47.8   0.000693
    
    Stardust's closest approach, at 11:23 on Jan-15, is 0.000689 light-minutes
    away. This translates into approx 12,400 km. Subtracting 6378 km (radius of
    the Earth) leaves only 6022 km. Since the mean distance to the moon is
    approx 384,400 km, this means that Stardust will approach approx 0.015 lunar
    distances from the earth.
    
    "Cees Bassa" <c.g.bassa@phys.uu.nl> wrote:
    > I'm hoping on something similar
    > as the NEAR flyby some years ago.
    The NEAR sunglint occurred when it was at a distance between 27,225 km and
    13,597 km (ref http://www2.satellite.eu.org/dunham20.txt), but it
    was purposely maneuvered so its solar panels would reflect sunlight toward
    earth. Also note that the total area of NEAR's solar panels are more than 13
    times larger (89.3 m^2; ref http://near.jhuapl.edu/PDF/SC_Inst.pdf page 10)
    than those on Stardust (only 6.6 m^2; ref
    http://stardust.jpl.nasa.gov/spacecraft/scsystems.html).
    
      Ralph McConahy
      34.8829N  117.0064W  670m
    
    
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