glint vs flare vs flash vs ...

Robert G Fenske Jr (fenske@rgfpc.electro.swri.edu)
Wed, 22 Oct 1997 14:06:32 -0500 (CDT)

On Tue, 21 Oct 1997, Ed Cannon wrote:

> seems to me *not at all* to apply to what the Iridiums do.  They way 
> I learned the meaning of the word, "glint" means a brief, unremarkable 
> flash of unvarying brightness.  That is *not* what the Iridiums do.  
> The reflections from their antennae have extended duration [up to 
> more than 30 seconds of one-power visibility], and they increase in 
> brightness to the maximum and then decrease.  Those phenomena are 
> well-described by the word "flare" -- as I understand it.)

	I agree, "flare" is a better description that "glint".  But
"flash" is really the most appropriate.  A "flare" is a bright light -- it
can last a long time or a short time, i.e. there is no length of time
inherent in the meaning of the word.  A "flash" is specifically a brief
blaze of light, which is what the Iridium reflections are.


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."