Mir-STS86 et al., 28/Sep/97 AM

Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Sun, 28 Sep 1997 18:20:48 -0400

The pass of the docked Mir and STS-86 this morning was beautiful!
They culminated at 53 degrees above the horizon in the SW.  Their
Quicksat predicted magnitude was -2.2, but they may have reached
-3.  They looked large in the sky, definitely like an extended 
object.  I don't know what their actual angular size is.  The 
culmination was at a range of 480 km (300 miles).  I watched them 
-- at one power -- to 7 degrees above the SE horizon at about 
11:39:15 UTC.  About 40 seconds prior to that, they had an appulse 
with zeta Puppis at approx. 11:38:25 UTC.  At that time their 
Quicksat phase angle was 109.  

Along with those, in 30 minutes I also observed at one power 
96-51B (24298, Cos. 2333 Rk), 78-94B (11056, Cos. 1043 Rk), 
91-17B (21148, Lacrosse 2 Rk), and 93-68B (22878, GPS 2-23 Rk).  
All in all, well worth getting up early!  The location was in a 
small city park across the street and about a city block east of 
my apartment.

Ed Cannon
Austin, Texas, USA -- 30.3086N, 97.7279W, 165m