Shuttle and External Tank Solar Transit

From: Gerhard HOLTKAMP (grd.holtkamp@t-online.de)
Date: Mon Jul 03 2006 - 17:01:28 EDT

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    I don't know what the chances are for Discovery to make an on-time liftoff on 
    4-JUL-06 so I guess I'm wasting my time again. But if the miracle happens 
    there would be a chance for some people in France and Switzerland to observe 
    a sun transit of the shuttle with the external tank. (In fact should there 
    any body out in Lizard, Cornwall at 18:56:44 UT or on Jersey Island at 
    18:57:03 UT you might be successful at well.)
    
    Here are the location for the center line of that transit which I find with 
    the latest NASA MECO state vector.
    
    JUL  4  18:57:00     -2.71975    49.50873
    JUL  4  18:57:05     -1.90130    49.33974
    JUL  4  18:57:10     -1.05867    49.15596
    JUL  4  18:57:15     -0.18700    48.95505
    JUL  4  18:57:20      0.72026    48.73390
    JUL  4  18:57:25      1.67222    48.48816
    JUL  4  18:57:30      2.68212    48.21152
    JUL  4  18:57:35      3.77044    47.89426
    JUL  4  18:57:40      4.97148    47.52000
    JUL  4  18:57:45      6.34839    47.05826
    JUL  4  18:57:50      7.99291    46.46039
    
    You would have to be within about 3 km of this line to see anything and the 
    duration of the transit is about 3 sec (this varies along the line - the 
    further East the larger the tolerances and the lower the sun). The movement 
    across the sun's disk is roughly along a 7 to 1 o'clock direction. 
    
    In the (probably likely) event of further launch scrubs more such 
    opportunities would exist during the remainder of the launch window (at 
    somewhat different places of course).
    
    Has anybody ever observed a shuttle / ET solar transit?
    
    Gerhard HOLTKAMP
    Darmstadt, Germany
    
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