Re: neighbor sees his 1st flare

From: Robert Reeves (
Date: Fri Jun 20 2003 - 13:01:51 EDT

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    An excellent example of how we amateurs are the first line ambassadors for
    science and space.  It means a lot more to folks when a regular Joe can show
    them this stuff instead of a talking head on TV.  Thanks for sharing.
    Robert Reeves            
    520 Rittiman Rd.         
    San Antonio, Texas 78209    210-828-9036
    USA                                     29.484  98.440  200 meters
    > I rushed out last evening to watch a -6 Iridium flare and as I was getting
    > my bearings, a local college professor came by while walking his dogs.
    > We've met before, in front of my place in similar circumstances, but while
    > was watching for the ISS to fly by.  This was a special event because the
    > flare was going to be in twilight, what to me is the most beautiful of
    > circumstances.
    > I pointed at Jupiter, between the many trees in our neighborhood and
    > explained how the flare would be much brighter that it yet. Then, after we
    > made our way to a clearing down the road, just past the street light, we
    > waited.  Forty eight seconds after my atomic alarm clock began to beep the
    > flare brightened rapidly in the still, dark blue sky. My visitor saw it
    > first and exclaimed, "There!"  Then I caught it too as it brightened
    > and just as quickly faded away.  After it was over he was so excited that
    > reached out to shake hands!
    > It's always a pleasure to treat someone new to this sport of predicting
    > watching things as simple as a fleck of white sunlight shining down from
    > space.  There's something about it that thrills most people in ways that
    > cannot be explained but must be experienced first hand.
    > Wishing clear skies for everyone,
    > Tom  Iowa  USA
    > + + +
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