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Gaia spacecraft Solar Aspect Angle change

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nickjames's picture
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Gaia spacecraft Solar Aspect Angle change

In order to investigate some aspects of the spacecraft optical performance Gaia will again be changing its Solar Aspect Angle (SAA) this coming Thursday. The effect will be to increase the magnitude of the spacecraft from around mag 20.5 to mag 15. This is a repeat of the maneuver carried out last week and discussed inĀ http://britastro.org/ebulletin/4922. The expected time of the change to 0 deg SAA is around 16:09UT on Thursday, March 6 reverting back to 45deg SAA at 12:19UT on Friday, March 7. The spacecraft should be bright on Thursday night. The position can be obtained from http://gaiainthesky.obspm.fr/fov/. Don't forget that it is important to enter your observatory location.

If you have any success observing Gaia on Thursday night please let me know.

nickjames's picture
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Last seen: 7 hours 40 min ago
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I'm observing Gaia right now

I'm observing Gaia right now and it is around mag 14.8.