Re: Lurker Speaks (Starshine flashes)

From: Daniel Deak (
Date: Fri Dec 14 2001 - 01:57:09 EST

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    Hello Art, Tom and list,
    As I have worked a lot on the Starshine project, I followed your discussions
    with great interest, I only lack the time to provide fast answers. What I can
    say is that I tried myself to observe Starshine 1 many times with my 20x80
    binocs without success. The reason it was not flashing was the near absence of
    rotation by the satellite. This is why they developped a nitrogen spin system
    for the Starshine 2 sat being ejected from Endeavour Sunday at 15:05 UT.
    The problem with Starshine 3 seems to be the small density of mirrors in
    relation to its surface. The sphere was designed to accomodate about 3600
    mirrors but has only about 1500 due to the very limited time we had to build it.
    So there is a lot of empty space. Combine this with a small mirror diameter (1
    inch) and a spin rate of only 0.7 RPM, you have a low flash rate as seen by a
    single observer. What would be interesting, and that's one of the purposes of
    this list, is to have a lot of observers from different locations watch the same
    pass and take note of the exact time they see a flash. By doing this several
    times, maybe a pattern could emerge and this could help design the future
    Starshine satellites.
    If members of this list make observations of Starshine flashes, it would be
    greatly appreciated to have their reports forwarded to Gil Moore, the project
    director, at
    I guess we will have a definite answer to the value of the mirror pattern and
    spin rate on the Starshine satellites when some observations will be made of
    Starshine 2 in the coming months. Your reports could drive the design of the
    other satellites of the Starshine series. And don't forget these satellites must
    be the only ones especially designed for our hobby, satellite watching. Having
    met Mr. Moore in person, I can tell you he's a living encyclopedia of the
    unmanned space program (he started working on rockets in 1947) and is really
    dedicated to making space accessible and interesting to everyone. He knows about
    SeeSat and I'm sure our help would be appreciated.
    Daniel Deak
    representant, projet spatial Starshine
    L'Avenir, Quebec
    COSPAR site 1747 : 45.7275N, 72.3526W, 191 m., UTC-5:00
    Site en francais sur les satellites:
    French-language satellite web site :
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