Re: Intrinsic magnitude of ISS?

From: Robert Smathers (SSSSC Sat Shack) (
Date: Sun Jun 03 2001 - 21:56:07 PDT

  • Next message: Robert Smathers (SSSSC Sat Shack): "Re: Intrinsic magnitude of ISS?"

    > Perhaps the northern latitudes are seeing greater illumination for this time
    > of the season. Any comments from those in the southern latitudes?
    I've found a solid magnitude estimate for the ISS since the solar panals
    were installed and it's held up over tens of observations and it's
    worked with my friends in other parts of the country.
    I don't know how to state this precisely as some of you might tell
    me it's not totally correct, but I"ll give it a try.
    If you watch the ISS pass and the sun is at your back, it'll be
    a bright pass (magnitude -2 or -3 or maybe even -4).  example:
    the ISS is passing southeast to northwest or northwest to
    southeast and it's evening - the iss passes to the east of you
    and the sun is to the west of you.  the ISS also takes on a whitish
    now, if the ISS passes between you and the sun, the pass will be
    much dimmer (maybe magnitude 0, -1 or even -2 sometimes).  example:
    the ISS passes from northwest to southwest in the evening and the
    sun is below the western horizon.  the ISS also takes on an orangish
    color (like the solar panals are semi-translucent or something, you
    see the same orange color from the iss panels on some shuttle photographs
    taken during a fly-around when the sun is some angle in relation
    to the ISS.
    The only thing I can't predict is flares from the ISS so it's a treat
    when it happens.  I guess there will be quite a bit more flare opportunity
    these next few weeks as the ISS is in some odd orientation for awhile
    and thus more potential for flares to occur off the service module
    and zarya solar panals.
    so that's my tested and true magnitude predictor for the ISS.
    Much more magnitude variation than when the ISS was without the 
    P6 solar array structure.
    de fcc sgn, Robert Smathers  (   Albuquerque, NM USA
    Robert's Satellite TV/Baseball page:
    Proud owner, 5 TODYWEN(!) and 8 BUD-lites - Albuquerque Intl. Downlinkport
    Satellite Services Guide columnist, MONITORING TIMES Magazine
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