Novice question : Sat brightness information

From: Thomas Ashcraft (
Date: Thu Mar 20 2008 - 15:10:58 UTC

  • Next message: Brad Young: "Obs BY Mar 20"

    As a byproduct of my nightly video fireball observations I try to 
    identify satellites to distinguish them from meteor captures. I don't 
    have sat software as yet and am depending on for my 
    info. (By the way:  Great site! - especially the ground track, sky track 
    info features - Thanks to the maintainer of that site).
    This morning I captured a probable sat and think I traced it back to 
    Helios 1B.  But the mag listed at heavens-above says
    Intrinsic brightness (Mag 
    	4.0 (at 1000km distance, 50% illuminated)
    Maximum brightness (Mag): 	2.0 (at perigee, 100% illuminated)
    On my video I would estimate the brightness of this particular sat 
    capture this morning at near mag -3, maybe up to  -4.
    See movie with timing here:
    Question:  Are you folks interested in possible brightness discrepancies 
    and other observations like this?
    Thomas Ashcraft
    New Mexico
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