Re: ISS solar cells & moon

From: Mike Waterman (Mike.Waterman@marconi.com)
Date: Mon Dec 04 2000 - 06:13:31 PST

  • Next message: Thomas A. Troszak: "Re: ISS Magnitude After Solar Panel Installation?"

    It should be fairly easy to see the moon glinting of the ISS solar
    panels.
    Assuming the panels are facing the sun, then I think the conditions
    are:
    (a) Sun below horizon for observer
    (b) Moon above horizon for ISS
    (c) ISS in eclipse (=not illuminated by the sun)
    (d) Angle sun/observer/ISS = 180deg - angle sun/observer/moon (approx)
        and all in the same plane.
        Thus tonight the moon is about 100deg from the sun, so the ISS would
        would need to be about 80 deg from the sun (on the great circle
        between sun and moon).
    
    I suspect it is worth a look if the ISS passes within 10deg of the
    ideal point in the sky, due to the variation in orientation of
    different panels.
    
    For a moon less than 50% illuminated, the reflection would be off
    the sun-facing side of the panels, which should be quite shiny.
    
    For a moon more than 50% illuminated, the reflection would be off
    the side facing away from the sun. 
    Does anyone know how shiny this is?
    
    Mike Waterman      mike.waterman@marconi.com
    
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