RE: DMSP F16 elements

From: Ted Molczan (molczan@rogers.com)
Date: Tue Oct 28 2003 - 05:31:32 EST

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    Bruce MacDonald asked:
    
    > There was a nice pass of DMSP F16 over my location this 
    > evening [2003 Oct 27] at around 19:05 UTC.  By my estimate it brightened to 
    > about mag 5.0 - does this tally with what other observers have seen?
    
    Yes.
    
    Based upon 571 observations of the previous five DMSPs by Russell Eberst, its
    magnitude is about 5.4 +/- 1, at 1000 km range and zero phase angle, increasing
    by 0.0111 mag per degree of phase angle.
    
    The circumstances of your pass were such that maximum brightness should have
    occurred during about a 40 s period centred on 19:05:38 UTC, at which time range
    was near 900 km, and the phase angle was near 52 deg, and the predicted
    magnitude was:
    
    5.4 + 52 * 0.0111 + 5 log (900 / 1000),  +/- 1
    
    = 5.7 +/- 1
    
    So your observation was within the expected magnitude range, based upon the
    observational history of recent DMSPs.
    
    Ted Molczan
    
    
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