Very bright Mir...

From: chester.geoff@usno.navy.mil
Date: Sat Sep 02 2000 - 06:57:01 PDT

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    My spousal unit and I were out for a stroll last night, taking advantage of
    the lapse in the scattered showers that have plagued us of late.  For a
    change it was also quite clear.
    
    We'd just passed from under a small grove of trees when we both noticed an
    extremely bright (mag -6) object in the northeastern sky, a tad after 19:55
    EDT (23:55 UT), while we were still in bright twilight.  We've both seen
    many bright Iridia, so the immediate conclusion was that we were seeing one
    of those.  Well, it persisted for perhaps 30 seconds, then began a slow fade
    as it tracked to the northeastern treeline.
    
    Upon getting back to the house I ran QuickSat, and lo & behold it was Mir.
    I've never seen it this bright before, and I've seen it over 100
    times...This was undoubtedly the brightest non-Iridial satellite pass I've
    ever seen, and provided a nice break from the gloom of late.
    
    Cheers,
    
    Geoff
    
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