Shuttle and ISS seen from Putnam Valley, NY

Date: Mon Mar 16 2009 - 00:57:00 UTC

  • Next message: David I. Emery: "Re: Shuttle and ISS seen from Putnam Valley, NY"

    Thankfully, a persistant cloud shield stayed  just far enough to our south 
    for views of both Shuttle Discovery and, half an  hour later, the International 
    Space Station.  My wife and two kids watched  for the Shuttle from in front of 
    the Putnam Valley Elementary School, which  provided us a wide-open view to 
    the south and southeast. The Shuttle appeared  about a half-minute before MECO 
    (at 7:51 p.m. EDT), rising out of the low scud  clouds to the south-southeast. 
     It appeared distinctly orange-red; even  with the naked eye you could tell 
    it was an extended object . . . not at all  like the distinct pinpoint of a 
    star. After MECO it flickered and popped on and  off a couple of times before 
    finally disappearing over toward the southeast.  
    The International Space Station put on a better show, appearing on  schedule 
    at 8:21 p.m. EDT, low in the southwest and gradually climbing more than  
    70-degrees up in the south-southeast, passing very close to Betelgeuse in  Orion.  
    At its brightest, it shone with a brilliant silvery luster,  reaching perhaps 
    magnitude -3, before it faded out into the Earth's shadow about  five minutes 
    later over in the northeast part of the sky. 
    Overall . . .  a nice way to end the weekend
    -- joe rao  
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