Re: GOCE Flare Model and Observation

From: Gerhard HOLTKAMP (
Date: Wed Jan 13 2010 - 18:16:30 UTC

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    There is a nice GOCE 3D Model available via 
    You can turn it around with the mouse. If I turn it by just about 3 (around 
    the vertical) the aft ring of GOCE is more prominent. I guess this is what 
    might cause the flares Marco has been seeing all the time. Flares from this 
    ring would probably be in the mag 2 or 3 range and because it is a ring 
    rather than a flat surface you would see them whenever the angle is 93. 
    Flares from the solar panels should be in the negative mag range but more 
    Gerhard HOLTKAMP
    Darmstadt, Germany
    On Tuesday 12 January 2010 23:03, wrote:
    > On the 10th of January I have observed a bright flare from the
    > GOCE (09-013A) satellite.
    > The flare was very short, red like Aldebaran, and at its
    > maximum, I am quite sure, even brighter than the star.
    > I would estimate the magnitude to about 0.5 or even 0.
    > The flare occurred at 16:52:31  0.5 s (UTC) on 10/01/2010.
    > By using a Vertical-Along Track coordinate system, the
    > flaring surface orientation should be defined by:
    > Angle: 93.4 +- 0.3
    > Tilt: 22.6
    > These angles are consistent with those already obtained by
    > Marco Langbroek.
    > If these results are correct, they may indicate that the
    > satellite is actually stabilized about 3.5 degrees off the
    > orbit plane and toward the sun direction.
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