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Starshine Visibility



Greetings Fellow Amateurs, 

I have entered the STARSHINE elements into NOVA and I see that the satellite
will make an 80 degree pass over north Texas (Dallas) on Thursday, December
20th starting at 8:37 PM CST.  This is some three hours after sunset.  

I know that for a satellite to be visible, the observer must be in darkness
while sunlight is shining on the satellite itself.  How long after sunset
will the bird be visible over any given location?  Can we see it this
Thursday?  

Also, NOVA is showing the satellite's altitude to only be 224 miles.  That
seems pretty low.  The microsats are some 200 miles higher than that.  Won't
STARSHINE drag and fall back to earth in a few months?

James Alderman, KF5WT
Dallas, TX


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