ISS and Endeavour

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Date: Fri Sat 20 2010 - 11:17:00 UTC

  • Next message: Col Maybury: "ISS and Shuttle"

    Got it!
    No . . . actually . . . got THEM!
    I have just come back inside after observing a gorgeous twin passage of the shuttle Endeavour appearing to lead the International Space Station across the northern sky.  Both objects emerged from the Earth's shadow as predicted just after 5:21 a.m. EST.  They then made a slow, stately 4-minute pass from northwest to northeast (left to right) across my line of sight.
    The shuttle was . . . as expected . . . a bit dimmer than the ISS, but both space vehicles appeared very bright . . . Endeavour at least magnitude 0 and the ISS at around magnitude -2.  Using my 11-degree wide-field 7 x 35 binoculars, I estimated that the pair were separated by roughly 8 to 9-degrees. Several times, I used the stopwatch function on my wristwatch to see how long it took for both points of light to pass a particular pooint such as an overhead wire or tree branch.  The two objects took ten seconds for both to pass any given point.  The time was measured three times with the potential accuracy of 0.01 second, but the best I'd estimate is to the whole second due to my own fatigue.  This was a good reason to get up early on a Saturday, and one that will not soon be forgotten.
    For a change, the weather cooperated for a view, with mainly clear skies.  There was a bit of a breeze blowing and the air temperature was a relatively "balmy" 34.6-degrees F.
    -- joe rao
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