ISS magnitude surge

From: James (
Date: Fri Dec 14 2001 - 17:06:37 EST

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    Early this evening I observed an unbelievably bright surge in magnitude of
    the ISS - 30 seconds before entering the Earth's shadow. I've been observing
    the ISS for some time now and this was by far the best magnitude I have
    seen - far far brighter than Venus, it almost looked like an aircraft coming
    into land. The conditions were perfect, with crystal clear skies and about
    15 minutes after sunset.
    I presume that the increase in magnitude was due to the solar panels
    directly reflecting the sun? Admittedly this was the first time I had
    observed an ISS pass so soon after sunset so I guess that the timing of the
    pass and angle of the sun combined to give this dramatic flare-up?
    Norwich, Norfolk, UK
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    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Fri Dec 14 2001 - 17:14:51 EST