(meteorobs) Re: NOT off-topic: Consortium Wishes to Light Up Night Sky!?

Peter, Lew and others,

Thanks for the e-mail address Peter. I certainly will let the persons 
behind the project know my concerns, and like you I would like to advice 
everybody to do so, also those not immidiately concerned with coming 
Novembers experiment. This really does give some headaches, for serious 
problems can occur for those in the path of such a thing:
Things that bright can easily damage expensive equipment -e.g. when one 
of these things appears when our image-intensified meteor video camera's 
are operational, the very expensive image intensifying tube will be 
damaged beyond repair. That would not only be a serious financial loss, 
but it could instantly ruin a serious scientific observing effort.

Note that the experiment is scheduled only one week before the Leonid 
storm apparition (!) that is expected for November 17 and one of the 
major astronomic events of this decade!! There are some serious 
and important observational campaign going on around that time.
Consider what would happen with -due to some reason- one week delay in 
the experiment. 
high Northern hemisphere observers could then be confronted with such a 
bright object during the storm... with perhaps a loss of unique 
observational data. Note that there will not be a true second chance, 
perhaps only another apparition at storm levels in 1999 and then nothing 
for at least 33 year. Or even longer, given that the Tempel-Tuttle orbit 
configuration is much less favourable after the current return. One good 
thing is that in the case the thing is still in orbit at November 17 it will 
perhaps be zapped by meteoroids -a perfect natural revenge.....

-Marco Langbroek
 Dutch Meteor Society

Op Mon, 22 Jun 1998, Peter Bealo schreef:

> Lew and company:
> If you don't like this scheme, perhaps you could each begin as I did,
> e-mail your thoughts to the contact person for this program:
> vladimir.syromyatnikov@rsce.nasa.ru
> You can see my letter on sci.astro.amateur
> Perhaps a petitiion drive through our elected officials and UN ambassador
> should come next?!?!
> Peter Bealo
> At 03:23 PM 6/19/98 -0400, Lew Gramer wrote:
> >
> >Forgive me if this wild scheme is already generally known,
> >and far be it from me to be alarmist, BUT...
> >
> >The following excerpt is from the online pages of "New
> >Scientist" magazine. Review their complete article at:
> >
> >http://www.newscientist.com/cgi-bin/pageserver.cgi?/ns/980620/nspacemirror.
> html
> >
> >
> >     "London, Brussels, Seattle and Kiev will be
> >     just some of the cities lit up from space in
> >     November if an ambitious Russian experiment
> >     goes to plan. A consortium of aerospace companies
> >     intends to launch a giant mirror that will reflect
> >     sunlight down to Earth, appearing up to **ten times
> >     as bright as the full Moon**. [!]
> >
> >     "The experiment, called Znamya 275, is the
> >     brainchild of the Space Regatta Consortium
> >     (SRC). The companies involved, led by Energia of
> >     Korolev, near Moscow, hope that a successful test
> >     will drum up interest in their plan to use up to 200
> >     such reflectors to bring sunlight to the Arctic
> >     during the dark days of winter.
> >
> >     "Astronomers are aghast. If the idea catches on,
> >     they say, it could spell the end of ground-based
> >     astronomy by dazzling their telescopes. "I cringe to
> >     think that we could lose the night sky because of
> >     all these companies with their brain-dead ideas,"
> >     says Daniel Green, an astronomer at the
> >     Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in
> >     Cambridge, Massachusetts."
> >
> Peter Bealo