Mir, Atl sighting

Fred & Julie Burger (fjb@sos.net)
Tue, 14 Jan 1997 06:53:16 -0800

Observed MIR followed by STS-81 this morning from Camano Island, Washington
USA using element sets from
http://shuttle.nasa.gov/current/orbit/orbiter/sighting/shuttle.html

Both were right on schedule.  We observed both appear out of the Earth's
shadow, first MIR at 06:01:00 PST and after MIR had passed saw STS-81
fade into visibility at 06:09:15 PST.  STS-81 first appeared in the
bowl of the big dipper.  I was interested in seeing how abruptly the
transition from shadow to light would be.  It faded in smoothly, appearing
rather dim at first, building to full brightness maybe 5-10 seconds later
(time to full bightness is only an estimate.)

Attempted to observe both objects in a telescope at 50X, was not successful
tracking MIR until it was near the horizon, but acquired and tracked STS-81
while it was maybe 45 degrees elevation.  No discernable structure was
seen, it appeared almost starlike.  





Fred and Julie Burger
e-mail: fjb@sos.net
http://www.sos.net/~fjb