Re: Viewing Shuttle Entries
Tue, 27 Jul 1999 21:41:04 EDT

In a message dated 99-07-27 19:48:41 EDT, you write:

<< For those in a position to see the Shuttle re-entry at night (tonight), I
 would suggest that you don't miss it.  I saw the STS-78 re-entry (July
 1996?) over central California when it was still dark (barely).  >>

I agree.  I saw a shuttle entry from central Missouri a several years ago (c. 
1990).  We drove out to be near the ground track, and as a result it went by 
with incredible speed.  It seems as fast as a shooting star, but it was 
probably more like half that.  Definitely much faster than any satellite I've 
ever seen.

It was about 15 minutes before sunrise, so the visible plasma trail was never 
more than about 30 degrees long, and that only when it was closest to us.  
The head of the track was very bright white, with the rest of the trail 
appearing orange.

After it headed well to the south, and it's apparent motion had slowed down, 
I looked at it with binoculars.  There was an easily visible trail appearing 
as a bright streak low above the horizon.  I was able to follow it this way 
for a minute or so.

Jim Mason