Re: Thoughts on Iridium glints

Robert G Fenske Jr (fenske@rgfpc.electro.swri.edu)
Thu, 9 Oct 1997 11:42:11 -0500 (CDT)

On Thu, 9 Oct 1997 dmbrierley@taz.dra.hmg.gb wrote:

> While we're all enjoying the novelty of the brightest satellite 
> glints ever, has anyone thought of the long suffering 
> astronomers?  As more and more Iridiums are launched the glints will 
> become more and more frequent.  Light pollution of a new 
> variety.

	Yes, they are N more things that can interfere with astronomical
observations.  But I don't think it makes so much difference whether a
satellite flashes or not.  A +8 mag satellite can potentially interfere
just as well as a -3 mag satellite can.  The fact that there's 8000+
objects in orbit contributes to the problem more than anything else.
Unwanted satellite streaks probably aren't all that rare these days.  I
wouldn't be surprised if projects like SpaceWatch pick up satellite tracks
all the time.


Robert Fenske, Jr.   rfenske@swri.edu    Sw     |The Taming the C*sm*s series:
Southwest Research Institute            /R---\  |
Signal Exploitation & Geolocation Div  | I    | |"The Martian canals were the
San Antonio,Texas USA  ph:210-522-3931  \----/  | Martians' last ditch effort."