Apollo-Soyuz Sightings

From: michael p murphy <murph77_at_clearwire.net>
Date: Sat, 22 Feb 2014 15:51:03 +0000

 I saw the two vehicles make a pass over Cincinnati, Ohio, the evening of
July 18th while they were docked.  The Cincinnati Astronomical Society held
their club meetings
 on the third Friday of the month back then, so we were gathered at the
club grounds west of Cincinnati (not at the Cincinnati Observatory) for our
meeting.  One of the
members in attendance knew that we were going to have a descending node
pass, so the whole group took a break from the meeting and went outside to
observe the pass.

 I recall the fast rate of travel across the sky, and I also have a dim
memory of one end being brighter than the other, but that may not have in
fact been the case.  1975 was
a long time ago!  Two days later, my father and I drove across the Ohio
river to Kentucky to observe another pass that was supposed to be further
south than the one I had
observed on the 18th, but we did not see the vehicles.  They were probably
undocked at that point, but I think the sky was hazy or cloudy.

 The Cincinnati Astronomical Society had a very active Moonwatch group in
1961, but their activity faded quickly when the guy who was the driving
force behind the group
 left the area.  In 1975, several members who were in the Moonwatch group
were still involved with the club, and at least one of them could compute
ephemerides using
computers at Proctor and Gamble or the GE jet engine plant.  I can't
remember the name of the guy who provided the information for the pass, but
I recall seeing a print out
on the old fan-fold paper that was in vogue back then.  I understood what
some of the numbers on the print out meant because I was just getting into
satellite tracking then,
 having recently tried to understand a copy of "Fundamentals of
Astrodynamics" by Bate, Mueller and White. The book was given to me by a
cadet at the US Air Force
 Academy with whom I traded letters after my parents picked him up on a
very rainy, cold night in Cincinnati in '74 while he was hitchhiking in

 I better cut this off...  Sorry for the dissertation, Ted!

Mike Murphy
Dayton, Ohio
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