RE: BSTAR value

From: Ted Molczan (
Date: Mon Apr 19 2004 - 21:25:15 EDT

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    Moritz Heger wrote:
    > Looking closer on the BSTAR drag value of the ISS over time, 
    > I noticed that it is varying by around 10% with a period of 
    > about 20 days.
    > Does anyone have an explanation for that behavior?
    The rate of orbital decay depends strongly upon atmospheric density, which
    varies as the solar flux varies. The active regions on the sun that cause high
    solar flux are not evenly distributed, so the solar flux experienced at the
    Earth varies over roughly the same period as the sun's period of rotation of 27
    Ted Molczan
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