Re: Long lost objects in orbit

Date: Sat Nov 12 2005 - 10:36:38 EST

  • Next message: Leo Barhorst: "LB obs 2005 Nov 12"

    In a message dated 11/12/05 2:12:19 AM Eastern Standard Time, writes:
    << I was in the MIT Aerospace Library (where else!?) at
     day's end after classes reading up on the week's space news when the
     lights flicked for a few seconds and then went out. The sun had long
     since set and it was quite dark outside--it might even have been
     raining or sleeting.  >>
    I remember that night very well.  It was a perfectly clear night.  I was 
    living in the Throggs Neck section of The Bronx and when I realized the power was 
    off, I ran outside thinking that I might finally see a beautiful star-studded 
    night sky in what normally was a heavily light-polluted environment.  
    Unfortunately, it was not to be, since the sky was flooded with light thanks to the 
    Moon -- one day past full -- rising in the east!  It was like a 1200-watt 
    floodlight in the sky, washing out all but the brightest stars.  :(
    In the days after the blackout, the various news media commented "how lucky" 
    we were to have the blackout coincide with bright moon.  I, of course, was one 
    of the very few who was not happy with the circumstances.  Interestingly, on 
    July 13, 1977, another blackout occurred . . . this one confined chiefly to 
    the New York Metro Area.  I was still in The Bronx, and I was very pleased to 
    see the Milky Way and a sky with a limiting magnitude to +5.4.  On that 
    occasion, there was a slender crescent Moon rising in the east at dawn, so the sky 
    remained dark all through the night.  In the hours just before twilight began I 
    remember seeing a number of faint meteors and quite a few fourth and fifth 
    magnitude satellites, moving slowly against the star background.  In the nearly 20 
    years that I lived in The Bronx, that was the only night that I ever saw the 
    Milky Way from my front yard!
    -- joe rao 
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