Re: Possible Payload Bay lights obs while in Earth shadow

From: Mir16609@aol.com
Date: Mon Oct 14 2002 - 22:45:09 EDT

  • Next message: Ron Lee: "Re: Possible Payload Bay lights obs while in Earth shadow"

    In a message dated 10/14/2002 9:15:31 PM Eastern Standard Time, ronlee@pcisys.net writes:
    
    > Just watched a 677 degree elevation pass of the ISS/Shuttle.  In the
    > NNW and north it was normally bright then it became reddish as it
    > entered Earth shadow.  Then it continued to be visible (white light)
    > in binoculars while I was facing more easterly.
    > 
    > I neglected to get a time but suspect that this was only due to reflected
    > or direct Shuttle light.  Time was approx 0200 UT on 15 Oct 02.
    > 
    > If this is correct, this was my first obs of the ISS/Shuttle in Earth shadow.
    
    Sounds about right. At my location earlier tonight, 
    according to the most recent orbital elements, the ISS-Atlantis 
    entered eclipse at 00:25:39 UTC 15 October. For a few (10?) seconds prior 
    to entering eclipse they dim and change colors from a bright blue to 
    a dull red (like sunset). I tracked them with my 6" dob until 
    00:25:58 UTC when my 7x50's (which I carefully placed on the base of my 
    dob) acted as a wedge on my OTA and ended my observation when I 
    couldn't raise the OTA past 57 deg elevation. [Great moments in 
    satellite observation]  
    
    Another observer from my astronomy club tracked them with a TV Ranger on a
    fluid-head tripod, and kept them in view until 00:26:45 UTC.
    
    I would estimate that brightness of the ISS-Atlantis was about +7.0 from
    the payload bay lights.  Prior to entering eclipse they were about -2 mag.
    
    Cheers,
    Don Gardner  39.1799 N, 76.8406 W, 100m ASL
    http://hometown.aol.com/mir16609/
    http://www.howardastro.org/
    
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