RE: Iridium visibility? & Vandenberg launches

Ted Molczan (
Mon, 20 Jan 1997 01:46:23 -0500

In my earlier post, I wrote:

>Under favourable illuminating and range conditions, the satellites 
>would reach about 5.5 - 6 magnitude. These are mean values, and given
>the satellite's bus is elongated, it could be about 0.5 mag brighter,
>about 1 mag fainter, depending upon its orientation.

I neglected to mention that the satellites will
orbit at an altitude of 780 km. I based my estimate
on a high-elevation pass, at a range of about 900 km, 
and close to 100 percent illumination.