Solar Transit Observation?

Robert Sheaffer (
Wed, 23 Apr 1997 22:08:03 -0700

Observations Wednesday April 23  (24 April 1997 UT)

00:58:10 UT.  Rob Matson informed me of a predicted solar transit of
              Lacrosse 2. Using 90mm solar filter off-axis on 300mm
              reflector, effectively a 90mm f/22 off-axis reflector.
              60 power used, because at higher powers it was too 
              difficult to visually scan the entire disk. The solar
              disk was uniform and almost entirely without spots.

              Within about 20 secs of the predcicted time (unfortunately, 
              exact time not recorded), a black dot was momentarily 
              spotted toward the north edge of the solar disk, approx 
              1/3 of the way to the center. I was
              unable to see it for longer than that, or to trace its
              motion across the solar disk. A few seconds later, the
              outline of a commercial jet was seen to cross the sun,
              which distracted my attention. The outline of the jet was
              considerably distorted by atmospheric effects.

              Did I see Lacrosse 2? I don't know. Perhaps atmospheric
              turbulence (which was considerable) obliterated the
              image except for a moment when a black dot was clearly
              seen. At no other time was a black dot seen.

        Robert Sheaffer - - Skeptical to the Max!
             my new GPS tells me I'm at 37 deg 17.3' N., 
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