Discovery/MIR flyover

Geoff Chester (
Mon, 6 Feb 95 09:53:31 EST

Hi, all;

Had a wonderful sighting of Discovery and MIR this morning from the frozen
steps of Alexandria, VA. It was about -13C, clear as a bell (I think the
atmosphere was frozen on the snow...) so much so that at first I mistook
mistook Arcturus for Mars (hadn't had that first cup of morning coffee,
either!)  Picked up Discovery in the handle of the Big Dipper, and as it
neared the zenith, saw MIR following about 30 degrees behind. Discovery was
about mag -1.5 whe I first saw it, but it faded quite dramatically to around
+2.0 during and after culmination.  MIR, on the other hand, remained very
bright through the zenith passage, fading from about -2.5 down to -1.5
before I lost it behind the roof line. Too bad it was so cold...the local
media here were alerted to the event, but the weather itself seemed more news-


& Geoff Chester    Albert Einstein Planetarium &
&        "If you push something hard enough it will fall over"        &
&                -- Fudd's First Law of Opposition                    &