Lunar transit movie

From: Matson, Robert (
Date: Tue Jan 23 2001 - 15:30:39 PST

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    Kevin wrote:
    > I don't think it's a satellite. Since the moon is lit by the sun, then if
    > was a satellite it would also be lit by the moon. It appears as a black
    > dot to me.
    I am not able to view the movie, but without doing so I
    can tell you that unless a lunar-transiting satellite is
    sunlit, it will look like a black dot against the sunlit
    lunar disk.  A satellite illuminated only by reflected
    moonlight will be at least 14 magnitudes dimmer than the
    same satellite under sunlit conditions.  But this is
    immaterial for a lunar transit because the side of the
    satellite that is moonlit is by definition facing away
    from you.
    > ... And the size of it to dosn't seem right.
    Yes -- quite so.  The size and low angular velocity of the
    dot is what rules out any chance this is a satellite.
    Probably a weather balloon.  --Rob  
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