More Mirrors

Eberst (
Fri, 24 Jul 1998 19:34:04 +0200

Thanks to all who responded to my posting on the November Mirror launch.
It is worth remembering that any meteoroid swarm is likely to be accompanied by
about ten times as many micro-meteoroids (which probably don't lead to visible
meteors when entering the atmosphere.)
Anyway, the inflatable mirror is likely to illuminate an area similar to the
5km spot that was the aim of the previous experiment.  This spot is likely to
move across the Earth's surface at about 7.5 km/sec, the orbital velocity of the
reflecting structure. As I see it, this means that for any one place on the
surface, the observer will be within the spot for less than a second. So the
resultant effect would be a swifter (but maybe brighter) flare than we
with the Iridiums.  I fail to see how anyone could observe a steady "second full
Moon" lasting for the approx six minutes of the transits of the structure.
best wishes  Russell  Eberst  @   North: 55 degrees, 56 minutes, 55 seconds
             West:  3 degrees, 8 minutes, 18 seconds: 
             43metres (150 feet) above sea-level