Re: Shuttle, ET, ISS and Iridium Flare

From: Gerhard HOLTKAMP (
Date: Sun Jun 01 2008 - 19:51:15 UTC

  • Next message: Jean-Paul Cornec: "Re: Shuttle, ET, ISS and Iridium Flare"

    Checking the picture of the Shuttle / External Tank pass I took last night 
    with a fresh mind after a good sleep I get the following data: 
    The Shuttle passed Saturn (as viewed from my position) at a distance of 1.24 
    degrees which agrees with the NASA pre-launch elements (but the time of 
    21:24:00 UTC, 31-MAY-08 was 5 seconds later than predicted). The apparent 
    angular distance of the Shuttle and the ET at that moment was 0.58 degrees 
    which (at a slant range of 395 km) would translate to a distance 
    (perpendicular to my line-of-sight) of 4 km. Comparing this picture with one 
    I had taken 10 minutes earlier of the ISS and a nearby Iridium flare I now 
    put the apparent brightness if the Shuttle to mag -2 (rather than mag -3 as I 
    reported in my original message) but I keep the ET at mag 0 as stated 
     Gerhard HOLTKAMP
     Darmstadt, Germany
     49.8822 N, 8.6558 E
    > Ten minutes later I could pick up the shuttle and the ET just a few degrees
    > above the horizon and follow them for over a minute until shadow ingress.
    > The shuttle was about mag -3 with the distinctly red External Tank about
    > half a degree below (still have to check my pictures to be sure for the
    > distance) showing up at about mag 0 - maybe a little brighter. I timed the
    > passage of the two next to Saturn at 21:24:00 UTC, 31-MAY-08, which was 5
    > seconds later than calculated with the NASA pre-planned elements. I also
    > had the impression that the shuttle was passing a little higher above
    > Saturn than calculated. Maybe they were inserted a little to high. 
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