Re: Thoughts on Iridium glints

Leigh Palmer (palmer@sfu.ca)
Thu, 9 Oct 1997 10:33:54 -0700

At 3:14 AM -0700 10/9/97, dmbrierley@taz.dra.hmg.gb wrote:
>Fellow SeeSaters,
>
>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.
>
>No other satellites have produced such glints, so presumably
>the Iridium design could be changed.  OK so I'm a spoilsport, but I
>do think someone should alert the Iridium designers to what
>they've done to the night sky.

I am an astronomer, and I see no problem, given that the glints are
now apparently predictable. I saw one on August 1, and while it was
very bright, it had no great effect on the sky five degrees away as
judged by the naked eye visibility of other stars (in Cassiopeia in
that case).

Leigh