Re: Iridium glint through 100% clouds

Leigh Palmer (
Sun, 19 Oct 1997 10:17:10 -0700

>Friday evening I was able to see the fillowing flare in spite of
>100% cloud cover. During my way home, I didn't see a single hole
>in the cloud cover. At the expected time, a bright patch of light,
>about two degrees diameter, appeared on the clouds.

I know that there was no suggestion that this patchrepresented
the extent of the footprint of the flare on the clouds, but I
thought I should make the following comment anyway.

What was seen here was scattered light, not the image of the Sun
on the cloudtops. The Sun's image is much larger, subtending half
a degree from the position of the satellite. Thus in order to see
the Sun's image two degrees in diameter the clouds would have to
be four times as far from the satellite as they are from the
observer on the ground.