Re: Atlantis and ISS

Date: Thu Apr 18 2002 - 09:46:35 EDT

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    In a message dated Thu, 18 Apr 2002  9:01:40 AM Eastern Daylight Time, William Harwood <> writes:
    >Hi. Saw both from Merritt Island just south of the Kennedy Space 
    >Center; 22-degree max elevation in the northeast. ISS was clearly 
    >brighter than Atlantis, leading the shuttle by about an inch, 
    >inch-and-a-half, on a ruler held at arm's length. Just spectacular.
    Last evening clouds rolled in that were dense enough to totally
    obscure the moon but had enough openings to catch the end of
    the pass.   At 20:49 EDT (00:49 UTC, 18 April) Atlantis led the
    ISS by about 7 seconds or about 3 degrees of arc.   They were
    descending in the due south at an elevation of about 40
    degrees.  Both were about -2 mag.
    Evening of 16 April (EDT):
    In the twilight (Sun elevation ~ -5.5 deg) of the evening of
    4/16 (20:08:45 EDT, 00:08:45 UTC, 17 April) the ISS/Atlantis
    became visible in the due north at about a 35 deg elevation. 
    Within the next minute they brightened to -3 mag with occasional
    flares somewhat brighter as they descended in the eastern sky.
    Later in the evening (21:44 EDT, 01:44 UTC 17 April) there was
    a low elevation pass in the west.  As Atlantis/ISS (docked)
    passed (az 270, el 18deg ~ +2.5 mag) I tried unscuessfully to
    observe the orientaion.  I was using a 6"dob at 34x with an 80A
    filter.  I would think that there was too much range and I
    should use a bit more magnification (100x ?) for future
    Don Gardner  39.1799 N, 76.8406 W, 100m ASL
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