Wed, 25 Aug 1999 21:58:13 -0400

Just got back from the eclipse. With 587 emails waiting, it will take a little
while to respond to each of them.

 I was on ship off the sw coast of UK. Weather overcast and raining. About 1
hour before totality, ship started sailing west. A minute before totality, while
still raining, someone yelled look! There, through the rain and clouds, was a
tiny sliver of sun.  Totality started, rain stopped, and most of totality was
partially visible though swift moving clouds. A minute after totality ended, it
became completely overcast again and the sun was not seen anymore.  Talk about
amazing timing.

After eclipse, the ship crossed the Atlantic to NYC. Before I left home, I made
satellite predictions based on where I estimated ship would be each night as it
crossed the ocean.  The ship company would not release that information in
advance.  My guesses must have been all right because I got a kick out of
actually seeing several sats based on my predictions.  One morning, I even got
video of ISS passing a ship mast and the star Rigel.  Another night, something
flared to 1st mag right overhead. Based on notes I saw here early in the month,
I would guess that probably was SPOT.  Since that's not normally bright, I
hadn't made predictions for it.

At Eurosom, Paul showed video of Mir taken on a ship that I believe was docked
somewhere.  How often have sats been predicted and seen while crossing the
ocean?  This was an enjoyable first for me.

Before leaving home, I found that Mir might be visible from the ship just at the
end of totality and used SkyMap to show its path near Sirius. Though I was able
to see the sun, the sky was much too cloudy to allow looking for Sirius, Mir or
anything else.

A couple nights after eclipse, someone saw and took a short video of something
that took several seconds to move a short distance in the sky. There were 3
pieces moving together. I wouldn't rule out a fireball, but it seems to have
been slower than a meteor.  I was wondering if anything decayed over the
Atlantic. When I finish unpacking and find my notes, I'll post them here.

Jay Respler
Sky Views:
   Satellite Tracker * Early Typewriter Collector
           Freehold, New Jersey