Second Atlantis obs and flare

From: Daniel Deak (
Date: Fri Jun 08 2007 - 23:20:38 EDT

  • Next message: Ted Molczan: "TJM obs of 2007 Jun 09 UTC"

    Hi again,
    I just made a particular observation. Atlantis was predicted to make a
    second pass at 2:51 UTC but the area of the sky where she would appear was
    cloudy with lightning seen far away. But at around 30 deg elevation I could
    see stars so I waited for the shuttle just in case.
    Well, it was worth the try. It suddenly appeared low in the NNW just above
    the thunderstorm clouds (sky was flashing with lightning) and its brightness
    kept on increasing at a steady and fast rate. Its color was orange due to
    high humidity and it got to about an incredible mag -4 when it reached about
    335 deg azimuth. It then slowly faded and disappeared from view long before
    entering shadow. Culmination was at about 15 deg elevation.
    I checked with Starry Night and verified that brightness of Atlantis was
    maximum when it got in line with me and the sun. It was then flying inverted
    and sideways with its left wing in the direction of travel. Given that, I
    guess a saw a shuttle wing flare coming from the wings white upper surfaces.
    The sun angle was very favorable and caused the brightness to increase so
    It was really something to see !
    Daniel Deak
    Webmestre, site Obsat
    Pompier, municipalite de L'Avenir, Quebec
    COSPAR site 1747 : 45.7275N, 72.3526W, 191 m., UTC-4:00
    Site en francais sur les satellites:
    French-language satellite web site :
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