Re:Satellite Structure

Jason Hatton (grc@spica.usno.navy.mil)
Wed, 22 Jul 98 12:13:33 -0500

A couple of years ago I found myself at 3500 feet up in the Virginia Blue Ridge
on an exceptionally cool and clear night for June.  I had my home-built 8-inch
Dobsonian set up in anticipation of a nice night for deep-sky observing, but it
was still twilight.  Mir happened by on a near zenith pass, so for the fun of it
I tried to sight it in the 'scope at 48X.  I happened to be able to "hand-track"
the scope for the better part of a minute, and noted a pronounced "T" shape to
Mir, which maintained its orientation wrt the stars.  This has been my only
definitive view of structure on a satellite.

Ron Dantowitz at the Museum of Science in Boston
(http://www.mos.org/shuttle/shuttle-page.html) has obtained some striking images
of the Shuttle and Mir using a 12-inch Meade SCT on the roof of the Museum.

Geoff

+=========================================================================+
| Geoff Chester      grc@spica.usno.navy.mil       Public  Affairs Office |
|                                                    US Naval Observatory |
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____________________Reply Separator____________________
Subject:    Satellite Structure 
Author: <koos@writeme.com>
Date:       22-Jul-98 11:00 AM

Hi!

Ok, I was wondering whether I would be able to see any satellite structure
through a telescope? I have access to a 12 inch, so my best bet would really
be geostationary sats, cos well, a 12" is a bit difficult to manouvre fast
and accurately. Plus it's in a dome...
Will I be able to see structure of sats as far away as the geostationary
ones?

Focal lenght: 300cm
Eyepieces: 25mm + 12mm + 9mm

Thank you!
Koos van Zyl