Re: And I thought if Nanosail D was obseved flashing, means it's rotating

From: Marco Langbroek (
Date: Fri May 27 2011 - 09:33:51 UTC

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    Op 27-5-2011 11:22, Kevin Fetter schreef:
    > Hi Marco and others
    > I was just responding, to the where they say, The curious variations suggest that the sail is tumbling.
    > So to me, they are saying, there are not sure it's not tumbling.
    > Can't observe it are anything else, as it been 2 weeks, of cloud filled skies at night.
    Ah okay, now I get what you mean. I thought you were starting a semantic 
    discussion... ;-)
    To me, the rapid continuous flashing is indeed a sign it must be tumbling. While 
    occasional flaring might be due to changing solar angle and a fixed reflective 
    surface, rapid flashing is not likely explained that way.
    With a light object such as this solar sail with presumably an unusually large 
    surface to mass ratio, I wonder what happens if a small meteoroid (or small 
    piece of space debris) hits a corner of it: could it transfer enough momentum 
    for the sail to start to tumble?
    Clouded out here too by the way.
    - Marco
    Dr Marco Langbroek  -  SatTrackCam Leiden, the Netherlands.
    Cospar 4353 (Leiden):   52.15412 N, 4.49081 E (WGS84), +0 m ASL
    Cospar 4354 (De Wilck): 52.11685 N, 4.56016 E (WGS84), -2 m ASL
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