(IAAC) Re: (meteorobs) Re: Iridium flares
>Cc: meteorobs, aavso
>The reason satellites are made of highly reflective materials is so they
>reflect the sunlight and not gather heat, sort of like a car baking in the
>hot sun. I imagine there *are* some coating materials which would reduce
>the glare and imagine that so far, there has been little reason to use them.
>But remember that the Iridium "flare" is the reflection from the solar
>panels, which cannot be covered so easily as with some kind of paint.
Just a small correction here; the flares are not from the solar panels,
rather the Main Mission Antennas. I imagine the reflection of heat in this
case is to prevent heat damage and deterioration, and possible to prevent
warping or stresses that would shorten the life...I can't imagine they have
to be perfectly flat for aiming purposes.