FW: Thoughts on Iridium glints

MALEY, PAUL D. (paul.d.maley1@jsc.nasa.gov)
Tue, 14 Oct 1997 07:01:24 -0500

I spent Oct. 4-13 in Italy where I was able to get discuss the Iridium
flare situation with a Motorola rep. Thanks to predicts by Rob Matson
and Randy John I was able to demonstrate a -5 magnitude flare on October
8 at 17:42 UT just before a reception at the International Astronautical
Federation meeting in Turin.  I also continue to be in touch with
Iridium. I do not think there will be any design change at this point
since the production line is already committed and half the
constellation is in orbit. However, they are becoming aware of the
situation. The problem with Iridium flares might likely be considered to
be more one of public relations rather than with light pollution, though
I have discussed that aspect also. The fact is that Iridiums are up
there and are here to stay for a long long time. 

Paul D. Maley
DO5/Cargo Operations
NASA Johnson Space Center
Houston TX 77058 USA
phone: 281-244-0208
fax: 281-244-7622
email:      paul.d.maley1@jsc.nasa.gov
latitude 29.5378 north; longitude 95.0868 west; altitude 6 m

> ----------
> From:
> dmbrierley@taz.dra.hmg.gb[SMTP:dmbrierley@taz.dra.hmg.gb]
> Sent: 	Thursday, October 09, 1997 5:14 AM
> To: 	SeeSat-l@cds.plasma.mpe-garching.mpg.de
> Subject: 	Thoughts on Iridium glints
> 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.
> David Brierley
> Malvern, Worcestershire, UK
> Station 2675, 52.1358N, 2.3264W, 70m