Re: ISS Misses Moon - not by much!

From: Tom Wagner (
Date: Thu Jun 07 2001 - 16:18:39 PDT

  • Next message: Kevin Fetter: "Re: Lunar transits by satellites"

    > I am not sure I understand what you mean.
    I felt uneasy about the wording of my last post but let it fly anyway. In
    fact, outside of drawing a picture this is a difficult concept for me to
    >The real challenge is to see a dark satellite in front of the Moon.
    >This would be sometime in the middle of the night. As far as I >know, it
    has never been observed and it probably cannot be
    >observed except for large objects like ISS or the Shuttle.
    From what I have read from previous posts made to this group, one will not
    see, as you spoke of above, a "regular" satellite transit the moon (or the
    sun). They are too small and would be eliminated by the background
    brightness.  However, I am sure that a person could see a spot of light,
    like that normally seen moving across most of the sky, if it crossed the
    side of the moon in shadow, even if it was just for a fraction of a second.
    I think it would be neat to try to plan to see such an event. It would look
    most interesting if a person could see the spot of light crossing a
    noticeably earthlit part of the moon.  However, once the moon is past a
    certain number of days old, the dark part of the moon is indistinguishable
    from the background; so, there goes the esthetics!
    I agree that the odds of seeing a satellite crossing the moon at all, let
    alone the dark limb from any one location is remote, but I once raced 100
    miles to line up a large weather balloon with the moon. I also traveled very
    far on three different occasions to photograph solar eclipses. Maybe it
    wouldn't be worth the effort to see a moon-satellite event.  Meeting the
    challenge and pulling it off would be fun however---if I only knew how!
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