Blue ISS

Quinster7@aol.com
Thu, 25 Feb 1999 16:57:33 EST

As someone remarked the other day, ISS can have a very obvious blue color
during its passes, and I certainly observed this last night (and my first ISS
obs. at that!).  I watched a portion of the pass from Beta Andromadae to Gamma
Cassiopeiae, in the NNW.  Just after ISS passed Beta And. it was predicted by
Skymap to be mag. +0.5 and brightening, however it seemed to flare rather
quickly to around -1.5 and a brilliant and beautiful sapphire/blue color.  I
observed this in contrast with the reddish Beta And., which may have
exaggerated it, but the color was certainly there... As a side note, ISS
quickly became dimmer (~1.0mag) and remained about that bright until shadow
entry about 30 sec. later.  Also, it passed amazingly close to Gamma Cass.,
perhaps within an arcminute or two!

Quinn McCleery
Raleigh, NC
35.88525N 78.52529W