Re: HST and STS-103 (again)

Thomas A. Troszak (
Wed, 22 Dec 1999 13:55:56 -0500

Robin R. Wier wrote:
> National news reports Discovery visually sighting HST at about 75 miles
> distance sometime earlier today, with a join=up this evening.
> Heavens-Above gives visible passes (this evening) for the pair (Phoenix,
> Arizona) separated by about 15 minutes. That figures (in my head) to be
> about 4K miles apart.
> Could someone please make these numbers add up?
> Thanks,
> Robin 

In Heavens above (Tue eve.) STS-103 was shown running AHEAD of HST,
which just means that the elements (for STS-103) were from earlier on
when the orbiter was in a lower orbit, (with a shorter period) and yes
if it had stayed in that orbit, it would have passed HST but at a lower
altitude... Since then they have "hit the gas" and accelerated to a
higher orbit which means that their orbital period is longer, which
would match up with HST. I would still use the predictions for HST to
see the pair... but don't fuss if everything is changed a little...

Tom Troszak,
Asheville, NC, USA
35.601 N, -82.554 W
elevation 2,300 ft.

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