RE: Stardust landed safely

From: Dale Ireland (
Date: Sun Jan 15 2006 - 15:06:39 EST

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    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: Paul Henney [] 
    > Sent: Sunday, January 15, 2006 6:11 AM
    > Any reports of visual observation of reentry from our West 
    > Coast US colleagues? 
    > PJ 
    > Sheffield
    > UK
    It was seen from Eugene Oregon and by a large group right under the track at
    Wendover. I forward one of the messages from the IOTAoccultation mailing
    list below, 
    From Patrick Wiggins...
    I had to drive through wind, then rain and then snow before finally 
    breaking out of the weather about 60 km west of my house.  The rest of 
    the ~150 km journey to Wendover UT/NV (it straddles the border) was 
    under increasingly clear skies.
    Several people were already at the Wendover airport when I arrived about 
    1 hour before Stardust was scheduled to arrive.
    There was a very opaque cloud bank to the west that was moving slowly 
    our way and by the time Stardust neared, the clouds were up to about 25 
    degrees in the western sky.
    At about 2:58 an incredibly bright light exploded from behind the 
    approaching cloud bank trailing a pencil thin purplish/pinkish ion train.
    It was beautiful!  And the crowd erupted.
    It passed high in the southern sky and was noticeably dimming as the 
    spacecraft slowed and moved to where we were seeing it from the rear.
    It then disappeared into the a line of clouds high in the SE and we did 
    not see it come out the other side.
    About 2.5 minutes later, as we all stood trying to be quiet, a 
    surprisingly loud sonic boom was heard (actually it sounded like two 
    booms very close together) and the crowd erupted into 2 chants of 
    "Welcome Home Stardust".
    All in all, it was a great time.  An impressive light and sound show to 
    be sure but it was also nice to know that that we had just witnessed 
    NBC was at the site so there's a possibility our merry band of crazies 
    may be on tonight's (Sunday) NBC Nightly News and MSNBC.
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