Progress and ISS

From: Edward S Light (
Date: Wed Dec 13 2000 - 04:07:28 PST

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    Tuesday evening, despite patchy clouds, we "endeavoured" ( pun intended )
    to see Progress M1-4 and ISS and saw the same pass thet Don Gardner
    reported (except that we saw them from 18:32 - 18:36 EST which is
    23:32 - 23:36 UTC 12 Dec 2000; I presume that Don meant to say 23:31 UTC,
    etc., instead of 22:31).
    We first glimpsed the Progress (26615 = 00-073A) at 23:31.5 UTC to the
    lower right of Altair in binoculars but then lost it, either because it
    was slowly varying or the aforementioned clouds; at 23:32.3 it appeared
    about 5th magnitude as it passed below Albireo on its way to shadow entry.
    At 23:35.3 we spotted the ISS (25544 = 98-067A) some 8 degrees to the
    lower-right of Altair (at just 19 degrees elevation) brighter than Vega
    (i.e. at an apparent magnitude of perhaps -0.5), and by 23:36.2 when it
    passed below ALbireo, it had "dimmed" to approximately zero magnitude.
    Although we didn't see it as bright as Don did (of course, he was slightly
    closer!), it still was brighter than we'd ever seen it so low in the SW.
    Throughout the pass, its coppery color was veryt noticeable.
    Incidentally, although I can see that Albireo is a double star with my
    handheld 10x50 binoculars, I couldn't clearly discern any shape to the
    ISS; maybe on a higher pass.
    Clear and dark skies!
       Ed and Darlene Light
    Lakewood, NJ, USA
    N 40.1075, W 074.2312, Hgt +24 m (80 ft)
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