Re: Starshine II etc.

From: Tom Wagner (
Date: Sun Feb 17 2002 - 00:29:12 EST

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    Regarding Starshine....
    This afternoon I was messing around with the sunlit slowly rotating disco
    ball in my science classroom and noticed that, even though it is virtually
    covered with little mirrors, I saw very few flashes of light per revolution.
    It was better at some angles but I was amazed at how infrequently I saw a
    I don't know about the geometry of the Starshine satellites but I can say
    that I now have an appreciation for how much of a challenge it is to get the
    light to reflect to a single observer on the ground.
    We are soon going to be grinding some mirrors for the upcoming Starshine 4
    and I plan to use my disco ball to illustrate exactly what it is that we are
    trying to accomplish. By the way, starshine 4 is to be accompanied by an
    inflated mylar balloon as far as I know.
    Iowa Tom
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Edward S Light" <>
    To: <>
    Sent: Saturday, February 16, 2002 8:46 PM
    Subject: Starshine II etc.
    > This evening we finally saw Starshine II (26996=01-054B) flash once.
    > At (2002 Feb 16) 23:44:23 (+/1 1 sec) UTC, at alt 64deg, azim 083deg,
    > it flashed to approximate magnitude -1.4 (i.e. like Sirius).
    > We also saw a nice, slowly-moving flashing object: Intelsat 4-3 Atlas
    > Centaur R/B (06779=71-116B). We didn't attempt careful timings, but at
    > (2002 Feb 17) 00:07.9 UTC, near Aldebaran, it was flashing to +5 mag
    > with a period of approximately 8 seconds.
    > Almost 11 minutes later, at 00:18.7 UTC, it was near beta CMi and was
    > still flashing to magnitude 5 with an approximately 8 second period.
    > (At both locations, the period may have been about 16 seconds, with
    > alternate maxima differing slightly.) We may try to time the maxima
    > some other day.
    > Clear and dark skies!
    > Ed and Darlene Light
    > Lakewood, NJ, USA
    > N 40.1075, W 074.2312, Hgt +24 m
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