Mir Marathon

Dave Mullenix (djmullen@facstaff.wisc.edu)
Fri, 5 Sep 1997 06:37:40 -0500

A few days ago I stated that I thought I'd seen seven Mir passes in one
night.  However, a check of my log shows that I only saw six.  This was on
the night of June 28/29, 1992.  (43 degrees N latitude, 90 degrees W
longitude)  The first pass was observed through 7x50 binoculars shortly
after sunset while the sky was still bright and blue.  It was invisible to
the naked eye.  The sixth pass was observed just before dawn when it was
almost broad daylight.  It passed near Jupiter, which I had observed when it
was still dark and lined up with some landmarks so I could find it in
binoculars when it got too bright to see with the naked eye.  At the
appointed time, I found Jupiter in the binoculars and more or less "lay in
wait" for Mir to come by.  Both were invisible to the naked eye, but easily
seen in the binoculars.

Although I haven't tried this yet, I have a feeling that Mir should be
visible through 7x50 binoculars in broad daylight, so long as the light
angles are favorable.  Has anyone observed it this way?  Assuming it's
possible, I wonder how many passes could be seen in 24 hour period.  Twelve
perhaps?

Dave, N9LTD