Re: Magnitude (re: top 51)

Lew Gramer (
Tue, 22 Oct 96 12:08:34 -0400

The MOST experienced meteor observers routinely estimate magnitudes of extremely 
transient phenomena to the half magnitude (meteors rarely last longer than about 
0.5 sec) - but NEVER MORE accurately. Variable star observers generally only 
estimate extremely static stellar magnitudes to the 1/5th magnitude, although 
very expert ones do sometimes report magnitudes to the tenth. Satellites would 
be somewhere in between these two extremes, and I'd be very surprised if their 
brightness could be estimated more accurately than a 1/4th or 1/5th magnitude. (Geostationary sats would of course be more like 
variale stars, however!)

My newbie $0.02,
Lew Gramer
Medford, MA, USA