Re: Shuttle visibility upon re-entry

Date: Sun Nov 04 2007 - 20:16:55 UTC

  • Next message: Paul Bridges: "Re: Shuttle visibility upon re-entry"

    In a message dated 11/4/2007 2:03:19 PM Eastern Standard Time, writes:
    I see the STS undock time is 5:32 EST. I have a superb  
    horizon-zenith-horizon pass in my area (California) at 8:56 EST  
    according to H.A..  If those times remain correct, is ~20 minutes  enough 
    time to show a visible separation of STS/ISS to the human eye?   I just 
    don't know how fast/far they move apart after separation.
    I'm not exactly sure what you mean here, since you are in California so  your
    local time is Pacific not Eastern time.  The Shuttle/ISS duo will make  three 
    passes over North America on Monday morning.  You will probably be  under the 
    third pass,
    which will come about three hours after undocking.  
    Last December, there was a situation where the Shuttle and ISS undocked  
    shortly before
    a series of passes began over North America.  Folks here in the  east needed 
    binoculars to 
    clearly see the separation, but they were a little farther apart for the  
    Central States and 
    by the time they were passing over the Western US, the pair could be seen  as 
    distinct objects with the naked eye.  
    In tomorrow morning's case, the final Seperation burn occurs, at 7:18 am  EST 
    ( 12:18 UTC ).
    That's 4:18 a.m. PST . . . the vehicles will be steadily separating  
    thereafter, so I suspect
    that you'll be able to see both objects without optical aid . . . probably  
    separated by a degree
    or less. Ultimately, the gap between the two will increase to about 26  
    miles/42 kilometers, 
    which means that on Tuesday and Wednesday morning, they should appear  
    separated by 
    about 18 to 20 degrees. 
    -- joe rao 
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