Re: Nanosail orientation info from NSD team

From: Djlaszlo (
Date: Sun Jan 23 2011 - 19:12:00 UTC

  • Next message: Ted Molczan: "NanoSail-D Observed"

    I remember seeing a discarded solar panel from HST with unaided eye.  
    It went from invisible to about mag +3 then faded, over the course of a 
    several seconds.  Do we have any estimate of the current spin rate for 
    NanoSail-D?  Dan Laszlo
    -----Original Message-----
    From: Denise Moser <>
    Sent: Sun, Jan 23, 2011 11:33 am
    Subject: Nanosail orientation info from NSD team
    >From the Nanosail folks:We might have to get new TLE's for NanoSail-D 
    out to the public.  We willtry to get them to the 4 
    locations.NanoSail-D dashboardHeavens-aboven2yo.comcalskyAlso, we will 
    be tumbling.  Here is an explanation from Dr. M. Whorton aboutthe 
    difficulty to see NanoSail-D.It needs to be illuminated by sunlight for 
    it to be seen from the ground,and it needs to be seen against a dark 
    sky for sufficient contrast (so itwill stand out).  Since it flies at a 
    relatively low orbit altitude, it isonly illuminated by sunlight 
    against a comparably dark background arounddawn and dusk.  Early in the 
    mission it will be tumbling, so it reallydoesn't matter where it is in 
    the sky, but later in the mission it will beaerodynamically stabilized, 
    meaning that the normal to the sail will pointin the velocity vector 
    direction.  That means you will see it edge on whenit is directly 
    overhead.  Best viewing times for the later phases of themission (as 
    the orbit decays and it enters more of the atmosphere) will tendto be 
    closer to the horizon rather than directly overhead.  However, this 
    isjust general guidelines -- it will likely be good viewing just at 
    allelevations as long as the sun has is close to setting or barely 
    risen.Please relay to Ted and the others.  Thank you. NSD TeamI'm 
    looking forward to clearer skies next month when passes should be 
    betterfor me.DM-------------- next part --------------An HTML 
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