Finally saw GRO

Mark Hanning-Lee (
Tue, 17 Feb 1998 18:53:11 -0800

I finally logged the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory GRO using Bester's
online predictions at Pretty much on
time to within a few degrees and 30 s - how's that for high-precision
timing ;-) It was good to see it at last! I saw it at 18:32-18:36 PST
2/17/98 = 02:32-02:36 UT 2/18/98.

The sky over Pasadena CA lat 34.141 N long -118.100 altitude 265 m was
clear after recent rain but still light polluted, limiting magnitude
perhaps 3-4. I barely saw GRO coming slowly in from the W with the naked
eye and followed it using eye and (usually) 7*35 binoculars into eclipse
in the SE. It was a steady dull yellow. It passed very close to sigma
Canis Majoris with similar color & magnitude; Marriott's SkyMap gives
this star as 3.47.

Best, Mark
Mark Hanning-Lee,