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viewing satellites



I said in my original post on this subject I am not here to persuade  . . .  I am interested in helping to understand (education) . . .  AO 51 is  9" X  9" X 9" . . .  see AMSAT website where they use ~25cm cubed . . . the ISS is ~10,000,000 cubic feet versus less than 1 cubic foot for AO 51 . . .YES you can  "see"  the sun reflect off the 10,000,000 cubic foot object but not the less than HALF  A  CUBIC  FOOT  AO 51

Like anything we all see REFLECTIONS of the sun; that is a physicists definition . . .  without the sun you "see" nothing . . . I have SEEN the relatively large 300' X 225' X 150'   ISS which is the sun's reflection . . . . I have seen dozens of Iridium flares which last for about 2 or 3 seconds depending on certain factors . . .  no argument from me on whether someone "saw" something . . 

.  i guess if you think you saw something 9 " X  9" X 9"  from 300 miles up you will continue to believe that . . .  it just is not factual . . . . now the ISS is large enough . . . its star magnitude does vary depending on factors but is generally about a 1 which is certainly visible . . .  as somebody said AO 51 would be a 15 or so magnitude which is way way beyond seeing . . . most very dim stars are 3 and 4 and believe me that is 100 db up (so to speak) from AO 51 at 15. As a matter of fact you can not see  beyond a 4th magnitude star and if you are older your vision might not even allow that . . .

 believe what you want ; I think physics is great (pretty factual). Folks believe in a lot of stuff but unfortunately a lot is not factual . . . the "glints" of sunlight off the Iridium satellites are spectacular though but last for a second or so  . . . imagine seeing something the size of a 6 pack of beverages 300 miles up with you naked eye  . . . . impossible . . .  

Jim W9VNE
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