Re: STS-72 seen in darkness

Bill Bard (
12 Jan 1996 10:49:06 -0500

Interesting! Something I wonder is how bright the shuttle would be in the =
shadow from it's cargo lights, assuming they were pointing down. I'll =
look for info (or someone can post it here) on the number of lights and =
their brightness.

Bill Bard

Date: 1/12/96 10:40 AM
To: Bill Bard
From: Maley, Paul D.

This is to report an observation of the STS-72 shuttle vehicle inside the =

shadow of the earth from League City, Texas USA. At 1133GMT January 12 I 
observed the shuttle with a 13cm refractor at 20x at magnitude 7, then =
taped it passing below Spica at magnitude 6.5. Because the orbit perigee =
lowered yesterday, the slant range was only 186 statute miles, and its 
orientation was -ZLV (that is, payload bay toward earth). On cable TV we 
have the NASA select channel. From this, I could see that the crew cabin 
lights were on, and it is my suspicion that the cargo bay lights, which =
no telemetry, were NOT on at the time. According to Mike McCants Quicksat =

program, the shuttle was 134 miles inside the earth's shadow at the time. =
attempted the same thing on an equally favorable pass at 0958 and had no 

Paul Maley

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Date: Fri, 12 Jan 1996 08:50:40 -0600
Subject: STS-72 seen in darkness
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