Re: NEAR Earth Swing-By

Craig Cholar (3432P@VM1.CC.NPS.NAVY.MIL)
Sun, 11 Jan 98 03:56:12 PST

I forgot to mention that if you try using Skysat to predict the
NEAR flyby, you should press the M key to reset the maximum
distance to a really high value like 99999km before attempting to
run a NEAR prediction.  If you don't, you may cause Skysat to
seemingly lockup, forcing you to abort out with Ctrl-Break.

Since Ron Lee asked for a prediction, I'm including it here in case
there are other folks in Colorado who might want to look for it.  I'm

assuming a glint time for Colorado of 1/23 06:27:30 UT (1/22 23:27:30 MST)
as taken from Mike McCant's post...

Alt=50   Az=287
RA=04h 09m   Dec=38:52
Distance=25814km  (16040 miles)
Non-glint magnitude: 12.09 (using Skysat's default standard mag. of 5.5)

If there isn't a glint, don't expect to see it unless you have a
sufficiently large telescope and relatively dark skies.  The NEAR
website said the magnitude could reach 0 for those lucky enough to
be on the centerline, but the centerlines may not be where predicted
since the precise solar panel alignment isn't known.

Let's hope for clear U.S. skies that night.  The moon will be below
the horizon for everyone, at least.

Craig Cholar    3432P@VM1.CC.NPS.NAVY.MIL