Re: Starshine II etc.

From: Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Date: Sun Feb 17 2002 - 16:29:33 EST

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    Regarding EGP (86-061A, 16908, also called "Ajisai" as well as 
    "EGS" for "Experimental Geodetic Satellite" ) versus Starshines, 
    besides the large difference in size (of the satellite and of 
    the individual specular surfaces) and the rotational speed, the 
    specular surfaces on EGP are convex rather than flat (thanks to 
    Ron Welch of Australia for sending a copy of a very informative 
    article:  "Launch and Observation Program of the Experimental 
    Geodetic Satellite of Japan", Minoru Sasaki and Hidekazu 
    Hashimoto, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 
    Vol. GE-25, No. 5, September, 1987.)  Of course on the other 
    hand there is a very large difference in orbital height, in 
    favor of Starshines.  It seems to me that the convex reflectors 
    may make a significant difference in EGP/Ajisai's observability.
    As all who have seen it know, even though it requires 
    binoculars to see it (except maybe from Mauna Kea and a few 
    other incredibly wonderful locations?), it's easy to find it 
    and to track it, and it's also fun.
    
    Anyway, there are a number of photos of EGP/Ajisai online; 
    here's a page with three different views, including one with 
    three people in the photo:
    
     http://www.nasda.go.jp/sat/egs/index_e.html
    
    Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas, USA
    
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