Mir-Transit in front of the Moon

Andreas Bormann (andreas@procyon.ping.de)
25 Feb 1996 21:56:00 +0100


this is my first message to SeeSat-L, which I joined today, and I am now  
happy to report the Mir transit at 18h 46m UT tonight. Mir passed directly  
in front the Moon! Just 10 minutes before the event, I realized that it  
could happen. So very lucky I managed to set up my little telescope just  
in time.

Due to a hazy sky, I could not see Mir approaching the Moon. I decided to  
look through my scope to wait for it. After a few seconds, suddenly a  
fainter object appeared and passed across the Moon with a considerable  
speed. Within a moment (0.5 - 1 sec), a brighter object (that was Mir)  
appeared in the field of view to follow the first one. A bit surprised I  
pressed my stopwatch. During the transit the objects crossed the lit side  
of the half-moon first. Mir could be seen in front of the lit half as a  
dark spot. But it was so fast, that I did not see any structures. Mir  
passed near the center of the Moon, while the first fainter object passed  
more to the northern edge.

Later I checked my stopwatch. I concluded that the Mir transit happend at  
18h 46m 25.7s UT minus my reaction time (around 0.5 sec). That is also the  
time which I expected through my calculation. Now I am very happy that I  
could see this transit. I suppose I have to wait for another event like  
that for some time. It also was the first time that I saw earth-satellites  
through my scope.

Regards, and clear skies,


My location: N 51.44375 deg, E 7.37956 deg, 140 m above sealevel.
Andreas Bormann         andreas@procyon.ping.de
Witten, Germany