Re: Sentinel launch rb venting seen from USA?

From: Jim Cook via Seesat-l <>
Date: Tue, 23 Jun 2015 14:32:29 -0400
In a message dated 6/23/15 1:00:10 PM, SeeSat-L Digest / Marco Langbroek <> writes:

> Short blog post on Murr's Sentinel-2A AVUM fuel venting sighting here:
> .html
> The sighting was some 10 minutes after the last AVUM burn.
> - Marco

I saw this too last night from my yard about 25 miles northwest to the 
White House.   But I saw much more than David Murr's photo reveals.   My 
description is a best-guess of what I remember seeing.   I was out there looking 
for aurora and not paying close attention to anything else.

I was facing perhaps north-northwest.   Out of the corner of my eye, I 
spotted a very bright point source toward the west-southwest, very much like the 
ISS often appears, maybe -3 magnitude, perhaps 35 high (give or take).   I 
thought it was a plane having just taken off from Dulles airport to my 
south-southwest in Virginia, with its bright take-off and landing lights on 
still on.   As it moved into the western sky, it began to take on the appearance 
of a bright comet.   No tail, just a bright diffuse glow with a white 
central point.   Still thinking it was a plane, I concluded there must be a lot 
of moisture up there to reflect the plane's head lights like that.   Soon the 
bright point was gone, leaving a glow that kept elongating the further n
orth it went.   Again, thinking this was a plane, this made sense because it 
had passed beyond the point were the headlights were visible from my vantage 
point, and a plane with its lights on moving into dense moisture would 
project a diffuse beam out in front of it.   

Yes, I thought some of this was odd.   This plane had no blinking red or 
green lights that I could see (I didn't have my binoculars).   Plus there were 
no clouds visible and the sky was not especially hazy (as far as I could 
tell) and I wasn't sure where this moisture was coming from.   But at the 
time, I was concentrating on trying tell if the purplish glow I was seeing in 
much of the sky was real or imagined.   But it was curious enough to cause me 
to glance over at it every so often.   It was only upon seeing David Murr's 
photo on Twitter did I put two-and-two together.

Ironically, I watched the launch online last night.   Unfortunately, I was 
working on something and it was playing behind a couple windows and I 
obviously missed any discussion of the ground track.   I had no idea the Sentinel 
2 was headed north and might be visible in the eastern US.   Next time, I'll 
be paying better attention -- and hopefully have a camera ready.

Jim Cook
Germantown, MD
Seesat-l mailing list
Received on Tue Jun 23 2015 - 13:33:21 UTC

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