Re: Shuttle and ISS seen in a cloudy sky

Date: Wed Jun 01 2011 - 16:21:34 UTC

  • Next message: alberto rango: "4542 SATOBS 30 - 31 MAY 2011."

    In a message dated 6/1/11 8:00:17 AM, writes:
    > For me, stationed at my home in Putnam Valley, NY, Endeavour bolted out 
    > of 
    > the Earth's shadow as expected, shortly after the ISS appeared (about a
    > half  minute later), but then the shuttle for some unexplained reason 
    > quickly
    > faded to below naked-eye visibility.   I was able to keep it in view with 
    > my
    > 7 x 35s   until it disappeared behind my tree line.
    > Meanwhile, the ISS grew to roughly -4 magnitude after it passed it's
    > highest point in the sky (about 75-degrees up in the SW), ultimately
    > disappearing beyond the tree line at around  magnitude -2. A very nice, 
    > albeit, brief
    > show.
    Well, Joe, this makes me feel a little better about my sanity.   It 
    confirms that, for me, 250 miles further away, Endeavour was indeed a complete 
    no-show Tuesday morning.   I've never seen a pass like that (or, rather, NOT 
    seen).   Oh, there have been a few times when, for reasons unknown, the shuttle 
    was too dim to be seen, but here you had the ISS trailing right behind, 
    some 30 seconds later, and it was bright as usual.   Yet I saw no sign of 
    Endeavour.   In fact, at first, I was convinced the ISS was Endeavour and 
    expected the ISS to show up moments later.   But soon I realized what I was looking 
    at had the typical orange tint of the ISS, that if it were Endeavour, the 
    ISS should have appeared by that point -- and it hadn't.   I realized I was 
    looking that the ISS and that I had somehow missed Endeavour.   I'd played 
    the simulation of the pass using Starry Night Pro and knew pretty much how far 
    below the ISS Endeavour should have been, but there was nothing there.   
    Unfortunately, I didn't bring my binoculars with me, as I usually do.
    I'm guessing that whatever orientation Endeavour reached when it 
    disappeared from your sky, from my location 250 miles distant, it was already in that 
    orientation when the pass began.
    It would have been nice to say I saw Endeavour on her last day in space (as 
    I did with Discovery), but this mean my last sighting of Endeavour was the 
    previous morning's amazingly close pass (with the ISS) following the STORRM 
    test rendezvous -- perhaps the prettiest pass I've ever seen.   Aside from 
    some lost sleep and disappointment yesterday, perhaps it worked out better 
    this way.   That was a pass I will never forget.
    On the other hand, it's rather embarrassing when you tell people how to 
    spot a space shuttle for its   last time in orbit, urging them to get outside 
    at 3:38 AM -- and it doesn't appear.   I have to hope most people I told went 
    out the morning before.
    Jim Cook
    Germantown, MD, US
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