FWD: Observing ICESat

From: Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Date: Wed Mar 26 2003 - 04:41:27 EST

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    Interesting message below from the newsgroup:
    
    sci.astro.satellites.visual-observe
    
    *** Begin Quote ***
    
    The laser altimeter aboard ICESat is now continuously 
    powered and has been observed from the ground scattering 
    green light off clouds.  When atmospheric conditions and 
    observer positioning are right the effect is not subtle.  
    Thin clouds, numerous scattered clouds, or haze should
    all be good.  Clear probably not.  To observe the laser 
    scattering it is thought best to get directly on the 
    ground track as the forward scattering from the Nadir 
    pointing green laser may not be visible more than a mile 
    or less off track.  The apparition's speed is stunning 
    as the laser spot is moving at orbital velocity.
    
    Information about the ICESat mission can be found at: 
    
     http://icesat.gsfc.nasa.gov/ 
    
    *** End Quote ***
    
    Has anyone from SeeSat-L seen this?  I don't know how 
    difficult it might be, the times of day of passes, the 
    expected magnitude of the green laser light; "your 
    mileage may vary", etc.  Please pardon me if I've missed 
    someone's message about it.  ICESat is 03-002A, 27642.
    
    Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas, USA
    
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