Re: Shuttle seen from home in Quebec !

From: Jonathan McDowell (jcm@head.cfa.harvard.edu)
Date: Tue Mar 11 2008 - 07:18:40 UTC

  • Next message: Daniel Deak: "RE: Shuttle seen from home in Quebec !"

    David, I don't think it was the photo flashes ... I have seen these
    quasi-periodic flares on previous launches. I guess it's the RCS burns,
    but they seem awfully bright. I don't suppose it could be the tumbling ET?
    It seems very periodic - after MECO, the object disappears for about 6s
    and then reappears with slightly lower (but not much lower) brightness
    for about 1s, then disappears again for 6-7 s, appears again, and so on
    until it sets.
     I observed from the roof of the Harvard Observatory in Cambridge MA,
    beginning about 20-30s before MECO; it passed over the Prudential and Hancock
    towers on the Boston skyline during its 'flashing' culmination, and sank
    into the murk over the next minute or two. Next time, I'll figure out a way
    to look at my watch without dropping my binoculars.
     Totally unforgettable and remarkable sight - nothing like an orbital pass.
    I also saw the orange color during SSME burn, but think it was whiter
    during the post MECO flares.
    
     - Jonathan McDowell
    
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