RE: Rosetta Obs

From: Ted Molczan (
Date: Thu Mar 03 2005 - 13:25:42 EST

  • Next message: Brad Young: "Obs 3/2/05"

    Bill Dillon wrote:
    > Are your magnitude estimates based only on the small box-like 
    > body?  I would think the 32 m solar array would contribute a fair 
    > amount of light in its own right, even without a specular reflection.
    Since they are thin and dark, solar arrays seldom happen to be oriented to
    contribute much to observed brightness. This is especially true of operational
    satellites, since their solar panels track the sun. 
    So to achieve the greatest overall magnitude prediction accuracy, it is best not
    to consider solar array's in estimating standard magnitude from satellite
    dimensions, but to be aware of the potential for flares by operational
    satellites when observed at low phase angle, i.e. near eclipse.
    > I suspect that the phase angle will be much larger during the close 
    > fly-by, with the solar arrays more edge-on, in which case 
    > your formula could be more in line with observations.
    Ted Molczan
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