FanSat B

William B Magnusson (williamb@netc.net.au)
Thu, 17 Jun 1999 10:31:43 +1000

Tristan,

>This evening I observed Fasat B(1998-43B/25395) at 2143UTC(June 15).  I
>didn't expect to see it because of its small size.  It is a small box of
>0.6*0.35*0.35m but with a stabilisation boom of 6m.
>

'UoSat' satellites from the University of Surrey. They employ a gravity
gradient boom to keep them 'earth-pointing' and are spin stablised. The spin
stabilisation would cause the variations in visibility you reported as the
sides are covered in solar cells which would be partially reflective. If
this is the case one would expect a regular variation in brightness. All in
all you did well to see this one. What did you use, naked eye, binos or
something better?

Bill Magnusson
Milawa Australia