STS 116 bright last night

From: Woodchuk (
Date: Sat Dec 23 2006 - 00:15:13 EST

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    I wanted to see the STS 116 one last time as I headed out of town. I figured out 
    the approximate time and position as I found a good viewing location. The seeing 
    was marginal with low haze and I thought I had little chance for an observation. 
    But if you don't try !!!
    At about Dec 21, 19:39 MST I saw what I am fairly sure was the STS 116 come up at 
    250 az when still at 2 or 3 alt and it hit the shadow of the Earth at 8 alt 
    about 1 minute later. At first I thought I was seeing the ISS but when I got home 
    and checked it was the correct time for STS 116.
    I was not using binoculars so I was very surprised with the brightness. Has anyone 
    an explainaton??
    Maybe a good reflective angle or a motor burn.
    I am at
    N 53.542
    W 113.524
    Alt 692 m
    Larry Wood
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