Re: Shuttle Launched

Roland Vanderspek (roland@space.mit.edu)
Thu, 22 Jan 1998 22:43:31 -0500 (EST)

> Saw the Shuttle launched on TV.  Rain and sleet in my area prevented any
> visual observation.
> 
> Anyone on the East Coast USA see it?
> 

Got it!  I was on a hill at 100m, about 6 miles west of Boston, MA, with
a great view of the eastern and southeastern sky.  I kept looking SE for 
the Shuttle, but it didn't get bright enough to be seen until it was
almost due east.  It flared big and orange for about ten seconds, then
dimmed below the sky limit, then brightened somewhat about 5-10 seconds
later.  I'm not sure whether the brightness variations were due to the
Shuttle engines or the cloud cover creeping up from NJ.  The limiting
magnitude for someone with 5 minutes of dark adaptation time couldn't
have been much more than 3:  the bright flare was, maybe, comparable
to Venus, but really orange.  Not quite like being at Canaveral, I guess,
but still pretty impressive.

My thanks to those who provided the heads-up and the delta-t's for 
this launch!

Roland Vanderspek
Arlington, MA