re: shuttle radar visible

From: Tyler MacKenzie (
Date: Thu Feb 17 2000 - 16:42:14 PST

  • Next message: "Re: shuttle radar visible"

    I trained my own 10" Meade reflector on the shuttle this evening from
    Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada (45.885 -64.368): great view!  At 92x and
    hand-tracked (somewhat difficult when it crossed my FOV in 0.6 seconds!)
    saw impressive detail.  Shuttle looked bright and elongated, with a very
    sharp and nearly as bright "rod" projecting perpendicular to the direction
    of travel, very approximately 0.5 arc minutes long (see artistic impression
    Length of the boom and shuttle were about the same, probably because my
    angle to the boom was only about 31 degrees (max elevation 27 deg).  Saw NO
    bright object at end of boom (radar).  Followed shuttle until shadow entry
    at 1420km range and 4deg elev).  Boom appeared to grow compared to shuttle
    as angle got wider with distance.  Finally, FOLLOWING end of shuttle looked
    larger?/brighter than leading end, almost looking like the tail.  However,
    I believe the leading end is the tail and the brighter trailing end is the
    sunlit cockpit.  Any ideas?
    I reiterate Frank Reed's suggestion to go out and see this before it comes
    down.  And thanks Frank for being so enthusiastic and convincing me to try!
    -Tyler MacKenzie
    Sackville NB Canada
    >This was an EASY observation. If you have access to a telescope, I highly
    >recommend taking a look. I've tracked Mir and the shuttles on previous
    >occasions but never seen such clear evidence of structure.
    >-Frank E. Reed
    >Chicago, IL
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