RE: Pinpoint flashes (fwd)

Ted Molczan (molczan@fox.nstn.ca)
Wed, 17 Jul 1996 17:53:28 -0400

Jim Varney wrote:

>was much dimmer and showed no glints.  Given that the sun set in the northwest, 
>the sun-satellite-observer angle may be favorable to specular reflections 
>off of solar panels or other flat surfaces.

That is what I have long suspected. I think we
have all seen high-flying aircraft low in the
west, shortly after sunset, which sometimes brighten
tremendously for a few seconds, which must
be due to a favourable angle of incidence.
I believe the same process explains what we see
from satellites in the northwest sky in summer.
 
Ted Molczan