Re: Lunar eclipse of satellites

From: Gerhard HOLTKAMP (grd.holtkamp@t-online.de)
Date: Mon Sep 19 2005 - 17:23:02 EDT

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    Russel Eberst wrote:
    
    >19 years ago, on 1986 October 3, I was able to witness a number of satellites
    >passing through the lunar shadow and experiencing a partial eclipse. Although
    >the eclipse itself was not visible from my location, I was able to witness 
    >its
    >effects indirectly. Now, one Metonic cycle later, on 2005 October 3, another
    >opportunity occurs to observe a similar event. In this case, the best 
    >location
    >is Canada, if my calculations are correct. It will be a pre-dawn event.
    
    Actually that would be a solar eclipse. On October 3, 2005 there is an annular 
    eclipse of the sun which can be seen on the ground in Europe and Africa. Many 
    satellites will fly through the Moon's shadow on that occasion and experience 
    an eclipse as well. Low flying satellites will have the eclipse near the 
    place where you can see it on the ground (but you want to be in the dark for 
    that) so pre-dawn Canada indeed looks like a suitable location. 
    
    The higher the satellites are the further away from the Earth-bound eclipse 
    you can go. On 3-OCT-05 geostationary satellites near 140.9 deg. East will 
    experience an annular eclipse around 13:32 UTC which can be observed in Asia, 
    Australia and New Zealand. I'll provide details for that if anybody is 
    interested in it. Such (geostationary) eclipses happen each time there is a 
    solar eclipse on the ground but also on the New Moon the month before and 
    after.
    
    Gerhard HOLTKAMP
    Darmstadt, Germany
    
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