Re: Lunar Iridium Flare!

From: Ron Lee (
Date: Fri Mar 24 2000 - 16:40:25 PST

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    Of course I did not intend to cast any dispersions/derogatory
    comments on the program Rob wrote.  I was well aware of the
    limitations of the program which frankly cannot be modeled
    better without validating observations.  With only two such
    obs, and my limitations at estimating magnitudes, little can
    be expected at this point.  Plus, it is not a program that 
    as many folks can use compared to normal Iridium flares.
    I assume the magnitudes are close for a full moon, but was
    not aware how much it would drop as we approach last quarter.
    I would feel confident in seeing tonights flare even though
    one day closer to last quarter BUT upon running Skymap, the
    flare occurs while the Iridium is sunlit.
    All things considered, I find it amazing that Rob can predict
    such an event that can be seen in the less than 1 degree FOV
    of a telescope.
    As an aside, I was concentrating on the center of the eyepiece.
    I saw the Iridium perhaps halfway from the edge to the center
    and it was visible until it left the field of view.
    Ron Lee
    >Yes -- the MOONFLAR program that I gave Ron does not
    >have a lunar phase function in it.  This is sufficient
    >to account for much of the 2.5 magnitude discrepancy.
    >I hope to get a chance to take care of this before
    >Ron's next opportunity tonite.  --Rob
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