RE: 26958 PROBA visible with binoculars?

From: Ted Molczan (
Date: Thu Oct 16 2003 - 19:54:17 EDT

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    Bruce MacDonald asked:
    > I wonder if anyone here has seen this microsatellite (26958, 
    > 01-049B)?  If so I would like to know the likely magnitude 
    > and whether it could be picked up with binoculars..
    > As it weighs a mere 94kg and is 60cm x 60cm x 80 cm I guess 
    > it would be a challenge for even an experienced observer.
    I know of no observation reports, but based upon its dimensions, its standard
    magnitude would be about 9 (1000 km range, 90 deg phase angle). Under favourable
    circumstances, I estimate that it could reach 7th magnitude - probably difficult
    in 50 mm binoculars, but perhaps within reach of 80 mm aperture.
    The only way to know is to try, and it make take several attempts. Please let us
    know what you see.
    Ted Molczan
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