Re: A Fast Pass of the Shuttle

From: David Tiller (
Date: Sun May 16 2010 - 21:31:41 UTC

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    I had a similar moment last night. My wife and I were out on the deck waiting for the mag -3.2, 67 degree ISS pass. The air was warm and still, and we could hear trains for many miles around. The lightning bugs were out high in the trees, making for lots of fake 'meteor' sightings. At about 21:31, we saw an unexpected sat ripping out of the NW - very fast!
    It turns out it was Progress-M 04M (36361 2010-003-A) and seemed to by going very fast for its orbit. It was also brighter than predicted by calsky - they said 4.1, but it was brighter than the later pass of USA-129 predicted to be mag 2.5 by heavens-above.
    The ISS was beautiful at mag -3.2, dancing in and out from behind small puffy clouds.
    On May 16, 2010, at 12:14 AM, <> wrote:
    > A little more than two hours ago, just after sunset, the air was totally still and the sky was clear. At 8:47 PM we spotted the bright dot of the shuttle moving diagonally from the NW to the SE. It reached a high point of 79 degrees. It's orbit (above sea level) at that time was only about 2/3 as high as the ISS. For that reason (I suppose) it appeared to be moving way faster than I've ever seen a satellite go before! Quite an impressive sight.
    > As I turned to walk back into the house, I noticed a beautiful crescent moon and Venus perfectly positioned in a divide between the silhouetted trees. What a bonus that was! As I photographed that, bats constantly cut through the picture area. Then, suddenly, I heard the sweet call of a Wood Thrush nearby. Nice. Minutes later, as I struggled to use my cell phone to illuminate the settings on my camera a Whippoorwill began to call out time and time again, as they always do. But here in town? In Waterloo, Iowa? No way!! I've never heard one any where near my place before.     
    > What a special night this was.
    > Clear skies!
    > Tom  Iowa  USA
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