[Caption: Patrol Group Gamma ("Juno") off comet Trilliam-Cochrane 9, late May 2523]
Space doesn't allow many opportunities to hide. It's often said that a Lunar observatory can detect a lit fart out to Uranus, but it's often not that simple. Sure, every rock, ship and piece of debris this side of the Kuiper is detectable, and given a full sky sweep and all the processing necessary to find anomalies, that's basically true. In reality there are fewer than ten thousand ships that need to be tracked in that vastness, and knowing where they were and where they're going simplifies things enormously.
But there's still room for mischief. Bright sources mask dim ones. It can be as simple as firing off a bright thruster and sulking in the background. Sure, the sensors wouldn't easily be fooled into thinking the thruster pod is a ship, but it still can't see the ship hiding from the thruster pod. Multiple sensor sources make this more difficult, so it's best to use a bigger flare than a thruster pod.
Comets make great detection shields. There are a couple of cubic
kilometers of rock and hundreds of thousands of kilometers of tail to muck up
sensors over a wide baseline. It's never safe to assume a comet isn't
--Lansing Weber, Principles of Space Combat, Kartouch Press, 2533
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