Re: Observation of STS 94 re-entry

Henry Eikel (
Thu, 17 Jul 1997 06:33:38 -0500

>The re-entry path was only a little more than one degree below Polaris
>at 5:30:18 CDT (10:30:18 UT).  This was definitely later and higher than
>the NASA prediction.
>The magnitude of the orange fireball seemed to be slightly fainter
>than Jupiter, so I think -2.0 is a good estimate.
>A double sonic boom was clearly heard 6 minutes, 32 seconds after
>passage below Polaris.  The ion trail was visible in binoculars for
>over 3 1/2 minutes after passage below Polaris and it appeared
>to drift from the east to the west at a rate of about one degree
>per minute.
>NASA entry prediction:
>     CITY         TIME         ELEV         AZ      ELSUN    BOOM
> Austin, TX     5:30:07 CDT    26.5  N    (357.5)   -13.2    7:24
>Mike McCants
>Austin, TX
I have to agree, it was spectacular!  I am in New Orleans, LA and here it
passed about 60 degrees up in the north heading slightly south of east.  I
am not quite sure of the time as my time cube was off, but my best estimate
was about 5:32 am  CDT. It was a bright orange with a large smoke trail. 
It was at least -2.0, but I didn't have much to judge it by as the sky was
getting bright.  I also didn't here the sonic boom.  I am not sure why,
maybe it was just because I was too amazed by what I was seeing to here
anything.  My only regret is that I don't think I got a good picture of