Re: My folks think I'm crazy...

Patrice Gambaro (
Fri, 15 Oct 1999 14:29:11 -0400

Walter Nissen wrote:

> We could organize an effort to make careful observations and improve our
> predictions.  A less organized effort would still permit the recent

Thank you Walter for these explanations wich I read with genuine interest; a
better understanding of what the Iridium constellation is and how it works (or
any other artificial orbiting object for that matter) is always interesting to

As for more precise predictions, I personnaly don't care for it. I have fun
just getting out an hour before a predicted pass or flare and watch for
anything passing by, noting directions, elevations, times and estimated
magnitudes, to try to identify them later on various Internet sites. If the
predicted pass or flare shows up, every thing is fine; if not, it's just as
well. On the other hand, I fully understand the need for better predictions
for those of you who make sat ob a more serious hobby or if it is part of your
job. Me, in a manner of speaking, I appreciate looking up whenever the sky is
clear (wich is far from being always the case around here).

As for humiliation, (you are reffering to my little story) it is just a risk
that anyone of us have to take when we want to share our observations with
others. Earlier last summer, I was rewarded by the greatest show I've ever
seen: I was out to watch a pass by MIR; as I spotted it, it was already at
about 35 elevation since I have tall trees all around my yard. As it was at
about 50 el, a bright, I mean BRIGHT object, (must have been a meteor)
crossed the path of MIR at 90 about 1 or 2 lower. It almost seem like MIR
exploded, (in fact, that's what I tought for a fraction of a second) their
were projections and for a second maybe two, there was a comet like tail with
bright debris in it. A really spectacular display that must have lasted... 3
to 4 seconds. One minute later, I was still in shock as I watch MIR disappear
behind the trees on the other side of the street.

I was alone that time, but just imagine if I would have taken somebody along
to watch...


P.S. For those of you living in Quebec or close to the Quebec-U.S.A. border,
watch for a one hour TV show on Tele-Quebec (in french) "Dans la ligne de MIR"
Saturday at 17:00 EDT for a brief history of MIR.

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