[ASC-media] Trivia regarding visibility of FedSat

Paul Floyd actskywatch at optusnet.com.au
Fri Jan 3 12:29:10 EST 2003

For those interested in seeing FedSat....

After trying (for a month) to find out how bright FedSat is, I tracked down
the following:

Ted Molczan (a member of the SeeSat-L mailing list for visual satellite
observers at http://www.satobs.org/seesat/seesatindex.html) has calculated
that it's standard visual magnitude (1000 km, 90 deg phase angle) is only
about 9.4 (fainter than the eye can see). Under the most favourable
conditions, it may reach about magnitude 8, which would make it visible in
11x80 binoculars or a small telescope.

In short, FedSat is not visible to the unaided eye due to it's small size.
This means it reflects less than the required amount of sunlight for an
observer to spot it using only the eye.


Paul Floyd.


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