showing off ISS and STS

From: Mark Brannan (
Date: Fri Oct 18 2002 - 08:23:37 EDT

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    There was a nice pass of the STS and the ISS Wednesday night, October 16,
    beginning about 8:05PM EDT at my Thomasville, GA, location. The STS was
    leading the ISS by about 5 or 6 degrees and, at first, was brighter by about
    2 mags. About 30 seconds before both went into eclipse, the ISS brightened
    until it was just a little brighter than the STS. It's always great to see
    the two together like that.
    Thomasville is a town of about 20,000 and not a big, bright city, but I was
    in a commercially built up area. The sky was not the best and there were
    only a few of the brightest stars visible in the sky, but the spaceships
    were easily seen and - as always - spectacular. I was at a drive-in
    restaurant, but had walked away from the car to be able to see. When I saw
    the sats, there were three teenagers sitting at tables. Even though I didn't
    know them at all, I told them, "Hey! Do you guys want to see something
    great?" They came over and were impressed when I told them what they were
    seeing: "Really?" "Are they always there?" "Can you see them all the time?"
    "Cool." I think the one with the diamond stud in his chin was the most
    impressed. It's nice to be able to share the sight with someone who has
    never see it before.
    --Mark Brannan
    Thomasville, GA, USA
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