reflectance 101 (or duh?)
Sat, 11 Apr 98 13:25:26


I'm predicted to see (maybe) a mag -7 flare from Iridium 42 late this 
afternoon (April 11) at ~16:53 local (20:53 UT).  The sat will be at my 
el 61 deg. and azimuth 261 deg. This puts the sat to the west of my 
location and the sun is ~30 deg. above my horizon at an azimuth of ~255 
deg (to my west).

How do I get a reflection of the sun with the sat west of me? Isn't the 
angle between the sunlight hitting the MMA and the reflection back down 
to me at 90 degrees from this nearly flat MMA? It would seem it isn't:-(

The MMA is angled down from the body of the sat 40 deg. or 50 deg. above 
the earth's surface if it was directly overhead. The sat, in fact, will 
be to the west of me, effectively making the top of the sat (in 
relationship to myself, tilt to the west (I think). If the sun is above 
the local horizon, how is that reflected light directed toward me when 
the sat is to the west of me?

Sure wish I could draw a better picture here. What am I overlooking?


Jeff Hunt <>
                             sat body
                                |                              sun
E                               |                               *   W
                              \ | /MMA

                      me wondering