RE: Mir - very bright

jeff hunt (jhunt@eagle1.eaglenet.com)
Tue, 27 Feb 96 14:19:14 EST

John Corby recently posted in part....
>I emerged from seesat hibernation during the cruel Canadian winter 
>to watch my first pass of Mir for 1996. I wanted to see how it 
>looked with Soyuz docked.

Well now, that's what I call a fair weather friend ;-)
I too have not had a good overhead pass for quite a while because of 
the weather.  I had no trouble picking it up on a recent low 
northerly pass on an evening not too long ago.

>Can anybody comment on which parts of Mir contribute to its 
>reflectivity? 

IMO, the large nearly similiar sized off-white modules that make up 
the Mir complex probably contribute equally to it's overall 
brightness.  I don't believe the solar arrays contribute much to its 
overall brighness.  Occasionally, you might get a bright glint from 
the panels as it approaches the horizon opposite the Sun.  My 
recollection of pictures of Mir are that there is little highly 
reflective coatings on Mir and that the Soyuz and Progress vessels 
are mainly black.  Let's see how it looks after the Priroda module 
gets there in mid-April (maybe).

You might want to check out a good reference on Mir;
http://solar.rtd.utk.edu/~jgreen/fpspace.html
It also has links to NASA sites (which I can't recall right now) 
that have info on Mir.  Regards,
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Jeff Hunt, Charlotte Hall, Md.  38.51N, 76.76W
E-mail: jhunt@eagle1.eaglenet.com 
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