Re: satellite transits the sun ? + introduction

From: Tony Beresford (aberesford@iprimus.com.au)
Date: Wed Jun 11 2003 - 03:24:58 EDT

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    At 06:28 11/06/03, Wim Holwerda wrote:
    >Dear list,
    >
    >
    >On 27 May a friend of mine noticed while observing the sun, a black dot
    >transiting the solar disk and he wondered if this might have been a
    >satellite. It crossed the sun from West to East in approx. 8 sec
    >(estimated). It left the solardisk at 06h29m52s (UT) at the Eastern rim. The
    >coordinates of the observer are: lat. 51 32' 50" N, long. 05 04' 48" E.
    >
    >My comment: if indeed this was a satellite it should have been at a
    >considerable distance from the earth (several thousands of kilometers) given
    >the slow movement. Would it be possible to see such an object agains the
    >solar disk with the aid of a telescope ?
    
    Just a point Wim, at the time my planetarium program says the Sun was el. 24.6deg, azimuth 86.4deg.
    does your friends description of west to east might be taken to mean nearly vertically downward,
    or horizontal. I ask in particular because the only satellite suspect is an object in 82 degree
    orbit, and it would be crossing the sun almost horizontally. It would have an dimension
    of just under an arcsecond. something further away say 5000 km would have to be 20metres in
    size, to get to an arcsecond. Such a small angle, much less than the seeing disk, would be
    so blurred by seeing and have its size and contrast reduced by irradiation you wouldnt see
    it.
    Tony Beresford
    
    
    
    
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