Re: ISS getting brigher

From: Markus Mehring (
Date: Fri Sep 06 2002 - 10:04:00 EDT

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    On Fri, 06 Sep 2002 00:27:19 -0400, you (Patrice Scattolin
    <>) wrote:
    >I have never noticed this but some other claim to see this. Is the ISS
    >getting brighter or dimmer during it's pass. I am not talking about when it
    >enters shadow and disapear quickly but some say that the ISS will be
    >brighter when opposite to the Sun and attribute this to reflection from
    >solar panels.
    There often is a notable change in color, namely when the sun is shining
    through the panels and we're seeing their backside, which produces a bit of
    an orange tint that disappears the higher the ISS rises in the sky. Also
    there ought to be a change in brightness as soon as the ISS has passed you
    far enough that you see the sunlit side of the solar panels and their phase
    angle gets more and more favorable so that they appear brighter. I don't
    think you ought to be seeing an outright flare from the panels. Of course
    this depends greatly on the nature of the pass, and also note that IME this
    change in brightness is much more apparent when you're observing a docked
    Shuttle/ISS combo, in which case the Shuttle can rather suddenly "flip" its
    appearance from the black and unlit belly to the white and brightly lit top
    side. IMO that kind of change in brightness is more apparent than with the
    ISS alone.
    CU!	Markus
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