RE: STS-104/ISS observation & more

From: Eric Briggs (ebriggs@sympatico.ca)
Date: Sun Jul 15 2001 - 10:09:58 PDT

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    -----Original Message-----
    From: Jeff Hunt [mailto:jeff_satobserve@worldnet.att.net]
    
    >My, what a morning for observations!
    
    You said it, friend.
    
    >Observed the STS/ISS make an early morning overhead pass starting out
    bright
    >white at around mag. -4 in the SW and slowly diminishing in brightness as
    it
    >traveled to the NE.
    
    So did I.  It was quite dim, crossing the southern sky and passing very near
    to Saturn, Venus and Aldebaran.  I was taking pictures with a 300mm lens.
    The pass was centered at about 0830 UT.
    
    >I retired last night after watching the beginning of the EVA via NASA TV on
    >the internet and got up early to observe and see the end of the successful
    >EVA with the airlock permanently installed.
    
    I taped the whole EVA off my computer and am watching it now.  For the
    evening until 1 AM I was observing at David Dunlap Observatory in Richmond
    Hill.  I got to look at M57 through the 2-meter scope.  The central star was
    blinking in and out.  There were six other stars in the field easily
    visible, around 12th or 13th mag.  I got to borrow a guy's SCT to get some
    prime focus shots of Comet LINEAR A2.  M13, Albireo and Mizar were other
    targets.  There was a mag -1 Iridium which we timed perfectly.  And a few
    telescopic sats.  And UARS, which was quite bright.
    
    >Of course, Saturn, Venus and Aldebaran looked fabulous together in the
    east.
    >Later, just as twilight was coming on, I was able to view Jupiter and
    >Mercury (with binocs) close together just above the ENE tree line. I
    haven't
    >viewed Mercury in a long time.
    
    Mercury was super in the evening earlier in the spring.  I got pictures of
    the Moon, Saturn, Venus, Aldebaran, Jupiter and Mercury with the 300mm lens,
    so those shots are about context rather than close-up.  And one with the
    ISS/Shuttle crossing the field.
    
    Cheers
    Eric Briggs, 44N 79W
    
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