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Re: [FT] orbital sighting

From: Indy <kochte@s...>
Date: Mon, 05 Jan 2004 14:35:20 -0500
Subject: Re: [FT] orbital sighting

"K.H.Ranitzsch" wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Indy" <>
> >
> > > --clouds eg debris of a killed ship?
> >
> > Pre-dawn and post-dusk you would see the reflected light from the
> > sun off of the debris cloud. It would be significantly fainter than
> > whole ship, but if one is very acquainted with the local night sky,
> > would be noticeable. Larger pieces may be as bright as your average
> > satellite nowadays; those would be noticeable readily enough.
> Quite possibly, parts of the ship might come down as meteorites with
> trails.

Oh yeah, eventually, and those'll light up nicely. I've seen a satellite
breaking up on re-entry once before (NOT the Columbia, mind you :-/ ).
Debris bits from a ship will quite likely be moving slower than meteors
(given the relative velocity of meteoroids vs the relative velocity of
ships and satellites) so inbound debris material will look different
your typical 'shooting star'. Move slower, twinkle more, steady
for a [relatively] long while. 

> Normal water cloud cover would have to be taken into account.
Depending on
> climate, season and local weather, they could have a significant
chance of
> obscuring anything in  space.

Well, I was taking it as a given that the observers in question
had clear skies. ;-) 


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