STS 104 obs

From: Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Date: Thu Jul 12 2001 - 03:57:10 PDT

  • Next message: Ed Cannon: "STS 104 time"

    In spite of troublesome rapidly moving low clouds coming from the 
    Gulf of Mexico, I was able to get a good look at STS 104.  Its 
    predicted orbital height was 110 miles (176 km).  It was moving 
    fast!  It was much brighter than Vega, which it passed within a 
    few degrees.  But on the way towards Polaris, it kind of suddenly 
    dimmed from maybe -1 to +2, and the sky was pretty clear in that 
    direction at that moment.  I want to thank Sue Worden for drawing 
    the possibility of this pass to my attention a day or so ago!
    
    Two bonuses were earlier.  First, Hubble Space Telescope flared 
    to about -6 not long before it got to the Moon.  Both were behind 
    thin clouds, and HST's light was very intense!  Then, due to it 
    staying bright enough, before too many seconds it really appeared 
    that HST transited the Moon!  Can't swear to it as I was observing 
    one-power and there was some thin cloud there, but I could still 
    see HST less than Moon's width from the Moon.  
    
    Second bonus was that Iridium 20 ? (25578, 98-074B) flared to 
    about -5 as predicted by Iridflar.
    
    Managed to find Gorizont 13 last night, maxima maybe +7.5, flash
    period about 83.4 or so -- more later.
    
    Still was able to find comet C/2001 A2 (LINEAR) last night with my
    10x50s, even after moonrise, and even from parking lot outside my
    apartment.  But I know that won't last many more nights.
    
    Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas, USA
    
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