shuttle radar visible

Date: Wed Feb 16 2000 - 17:00:10 PST

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    Saw Mir pass over Chicago at 18:28 this evening. I tracked it by hand with a 
    10" Meade reflector. The shuttle was plainly visible as an elongated object 
    and was accompanied by a second object about two magnitudes fainter. The 
    separation was several minutes of arc and the second object was oriented more 
    or less perpendicular to the direction of motion as the shuttle passed nearly 
    overhead. So presumably this was the shuttle radar on the end of the 200 foot 
    long boom. I could not see the boom itself. The shuttle itself also seemed to 
    separate into two distinct illuminated sections as it approached the zenith 
    --perhaps an illuminated wingtip?
    This was an EASY observation. If you have access to a telescope, I highly 
    recommend taking a look. I've tracked Mir and the shuttles on previous 
    occasions but never seen such clear evidence of structure.
    -Frank E. Reed
    Chicago, IL
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