Re: glint vs flare vs flash vs ...

Jim Varney (sat_watcher@rocketmail.com)
Wed, 22 Oct 1997 17:46:32 -0700 (PDT)

---Robert G Fenske Jr <fenske@rgfpc.electro.swri.edu> wrote:
 
> 	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.


The glint vs. flare vs. flash debate is getting pretty amusing.

Let's have fun with it and play Dictionary.

GLINT n. 1. a gleam or glimmer; sparkle; flash.  2. gleaming brightness;
luster.  3. a brief manifestation.  - vt 4. to cause to glint; reflect.

FLARE -vi 1. to burn with an unsteady, unswaying flame.  2. to blaze
with a sudden burst of flame (often fol. by up).  3. to shine or glow. 
4. to spread outward, as the end of a trumpet.  - vt 4. to cause to
flare  5. to signal by flares of fire or light.

FLASH n. 1. a brief, sudden burst of bright light.

For the Iridiums we can rule out flash.  Iridiums ramp up to full
brightness gradually and ramp down.  Superbird A exhibits flashes:
instantaneous on and off with a very short duration.

Now for flare vs. glint: Iridiums are not aflame (barring any accident
on the ground, that is) nor do they glow.  You can make a case for
"shine," so flare is in the running.  Looking at glint, we get "gleaming
brightness" and "reflect."  Glint is in the running too.

Next question: is there precedence for use of the word "glint" in the
aerospace field?  Sure is.

>From a web page describing operation of NOAA-12 and NOAA-14:  "We
evaluate the potential for sun glint in the EOPACE area by looking at 
the satellite/sun geometry.  If the satellite's line scanner will look
in the direction of the sun when it's low on the horizon, then we assume 
sun glint is possible."  (Referring to solar glint from the ocean from
the satellite's viewpoint)

and the piece de resistance

>From the NASA STS-81 web page, this description of an MPEG movie clip:
"Mir with sun glint from solar panels"

Okay, flare fans, can you now outshine glint?

__________________________________________________
Jim Varney   121.398W  38.458N 8m   Sacramento, CA
jamesv@softcom.net, sat_watcher@rocketmail.com

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