Re: ISS/lunar/Mars transit

From: Robert Holdsworth (
Date: Fri Aug 08 2003 - 07:02:40 EDT

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    Thanks for those who sent emails to the list and to me personally commenting
    on this topic.
    Firstly I have been corrected that I should refer to an occultation rather
    than a transit in reference to the Moon and Mars.  However in any event
    apparently the separation between these will be around 2 degrees as seen
    from my location- this was not clear from the sky chart in the ISS
    predictions on Heavens Above, but is evident from the general whole sky
    Also allowing for drag it may be a "near miss"  at my location.  I will be
    checking closer to the time for any suitable locations where transit of Mars
    or the moon will in fact occur..  Even allowing for correction of
    inaccuracies the observation of  all three in close proximity will be
    interesting even if there is no transit (and perhaps has additional
    significance in view of the closeness of Mars to Earth at the time.) As a
    matter of interest civil twilight commences at the time of the pass.
    ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: "Robert Holdsworth" <>
    To: "Seesat Explosive Address" <>
    Sent: Thursday, August 07, 2003 10:29 PM
    Subject: ISS/lunar/Mars transit
    > At this stage a lunar transit of  ISS  is predicted for my location on 13
    > August at 18:48:13 UTC (local time is UTC plus 12)  when it appears there
    > will also be a lunar transit of Mars or at least they will be in very
    > proximity.  Naturally weather permitting I will have the camera ready.
    > However locally hills make observation difficult from the appropriate
    > direction and at the predicted elevation of the ISS, Mars and the moon at
    > the time.   (Weather conditions have also been quite variable recently
    > to cloud as we pass from winter towards spring.)
    > It also happens to be the second reasonably bright pass of ISS that
    > (not to mention the bonus of very bright double Iridium flares half an
    > or so  later!)
    > I will of course be monitoring predictions and notifying relevant contacts
    > but if you know any observers in the Wellington/Wairarapa area of New
    > Zealand you may wish to alert them.
    > Acknowledgements to Thomas Fly's transit predictions and Heavens-Above for
    > alerting me to this event.
    > I also mentioned recently that I had a photograph of ISS in the vicinity
    > Mars.  The photo has been scanned but owing to a glitch is not yet
    > available- I am working on it!  It was taken with no magnification so I am
    > unsure whether or not it will be any use in showing the attitude of the
    > spacecraft at the time.  (ISS is still in XPOP  at the present time
    > according to the latest status report on  the report also
    > makes interesting reading concerning a major power system failure.)
    > (Also how much lower will the ISS be allowed to drop before the next
    > especially bearing in mind the high geomagnetic activity?!- any comments
    > what is the lowest safe altitude?)
    > Robert Holdsworth
    > Wainuiomata
    > New Zealand
    > 41.2610S, 174.9470E
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