Re: STS-73 reentry, Nov 5 1995

DJLaszlo@aol.com
Sun, 5 Nov 1995 12:54:03 -0500

From:  Dan Laszlo, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

STS-73 treated us to a fine show on reentry this morning.  The path was about
550 km south of here, and Columbia was at a stated altitude of about 95 km,
according to NASA TV.  It was a yellow, magnitude minus 2 to 3 object.
Picture a typical bright satellite pass, in which the satellite draws its
path on the sky.  The trail persisted several minutes (3 minutes and 20
seconds to J. Brower).  The path was nearly parallel to the south horizon,
reaching approximately 8 degrees elevation, estimated, at most.  I did not
hear a sonic boom in 20 minutes after the pass.  However, there was an
amazing amount of noise in the wee morning hours in the neighborhood, from
vehicles, honking geese and yowling coyotes.  

For the future, if you can find an unobstructed horizon, the reentering
Shuttles can be easily visible for 200 miles (440 km) and more on either side
of their path, if they cross the middle of the US.  It's definitely worth
trying to spot them!  Regards, Dan Laszlo.