Philip Chien (
Tue, 19 Mar 1996 02:58:30 -0400 (Lutz Schindler) asks:
>What is the size of the ET from the shuttle and is it possible
>to observe the ET in daylight with binoculars when it passed
>over bevor decay ?

remember that the ET only makes about half an orbit before it reenters the
Earth's atmosphere, spashing down in either the Indian or Pacific ocean
depending on the launch azimuth and exact trajectory.

As a guess I don't think it would be visible during the daytime since the
background sky is too dark.  Although I'd suspect that with an afternoon or
evening launch from the Cape it might to be possible to spot the ET in
Europe, Northern Africa, or Western Asia using the same visual requirements
as for viewing satellites (ET in sunlight with viewer in twilight or

Viewers in the far Eastern Asia, various Pacific Islands, and Hawaii under
certain circumstances can see the ET burn up during reentry.  There's at
least one person in Hawaii who has successfully photographed the ET as it
burns a trail across the sky.

Philip Chien, Earth News - space writer and consultant  PCHIEN@IDS.NET
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