ISS in a telescope

From: Randy John (
Date: Tue Aug 21 2001 - 02:42:17 PDT

  • Next message: David Brierley: "DMB Some obs Aug 20-21"

    I saw ISS in my telescope at about 4:16 UT on 19-Aug-2001 from Mt. Diablo
    (near Walnut Creek), CA, USA.  A 10 inch f/6 newt. (Cave Astrola) with a
    25mm Ortho.  I saw it approach, I missed the closest part of the pass as I
    flipped the scope and I watched it recede.  I followed it into shadow and
    far beyond until distance and low altitude caused me to lose it.  There must
    have been a light on!
    The only problem is that I can't reconcile what I saw (OK, what I remember)
    with the hundreds of diagrams, photos, virtual reality files, etc. that I
    have looked at tonight.  Here goes:
    I saw (OK, I recollect) three long rectangles.  A big bright one in the
    middle flanked by two shorter and slightly dimmer ones on each side.  The
    corners were clear and sharp.  The long axis was in the direction on motion.
    Some fuzzy stuff was occasionally seen in between.  This appearance was the
    same coming and going.  It was very, very bright!
    This sounds like Jonathon's description of June 24th:
    "..central mass/bulge that was flanked on either side by lines - solar
    panels, I assume."
    But there shouldn't be three rectangles side by side!  Did I make it up or
    was I so overcome with excitement that I mis-remembered everything?  I won't
    be annoyed if anyone suggests the latter.  What I really want is for others
    to start posting their own observations.
    One of the things that I couldn't figure out was where the shuttle was
    attached and what the attitude of the complex was.  Oh yes, it was
    travelling almost exactly away from the sun.
    I'm going to have to do this again!
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