Re: HST glints

Roland Vanderspek (roland@blitz.mit.edu)
Mon, 23 Mar 1998 17:00:52 -0500 (EST)

> Chris Dorreman asked if HST glints are predictable.
> 
> If you mean, can a program be generated to predict them, I seriously
> doubt it.  The orientation of the HST changes quite often in order
> to focus on various parts on the sky.  I've noticed that HST is somewhat
> unpredictable in brightness from my 36n latitude, which I've always
> assumed is caused by major changes in orientation.  The only predicable
> thing I've noticed is it usually is brightest in the SE near the end
> of evening passes, or in the SW at the beginning of morning passes.
> 
> If you could somehow get advance notice of what object the HST was
> was observing, in theory I suppose you might be able to come up with
> a method to predict glints.  I doubt it would be feasable though.
> Of course, I'm sure Rob or Randy will prove me wrong and will announce
> HUBFLAR or FLHUB anyday now!  ;-)

Well, if you *really* want to do this, you might want to start at
http://www.stsci.edu/observing/weekly_timeline.html, which gives pointers
to the planned observations.  Then you'd need a catalog of the coordinates
of known astronomical objects (the targets are given by names like NGC2023,
not RA and dec).  After that, it's just math, right?

Roland Vanderspek