GREAT TSS Pass over Central FL

Bill Moore (
Tue, 12 Mar 1996 06:19:07 -0500

Just (6:54am EST) had a terrific nearly overhead (87deg EL) Tethered Sat 
pass over Melbourne FL.  The massive storm and it's clouds finally blew 
away last night leaving excellent viewing conditions in the predawn 

The satellite was easily visible, and the tether very bright.  Quite 
impressive and eerie to see this white line flying along throught the 
sky!  Viewed thru 8x50 binocs, the satellite was very bright at the 
upper end, and the tether seems to still have a slight curve and kink at 
the lower end.  Something I did not notice on last week's pass was that 
the lower end of the tether had a bright spot on it--not as bright as 
the satellite but brighter than the rest of the tether.

One definitely gets a feeling of size watching this thing!  The 3-d 
effect is very pronounced!  As the satellite flew by overhead, the 
foreshortening of the tether was evident, and as it passed the meridian 
shrunk to nothing and then pointed the other way as it raced toward 
dawn.  As it went by, you definitely could see that the tether was 
hanging DOWN at you!  Another SEESAT observer said he thought it looked 
like the string hanging down on a balloon--he's right!  A truly 
spectacular sight!

Wishing you clear skies!
 Bill Moore      
 Melbourne, FL