MIR/Atlantis, 6/28

From: Geoff Chester <NASEP007_at_sivm.si.edu>
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 1995 10:28:34 -0400

Well, the weather gods were smiling last night as we were able to get a
parting of most of the clouds that have hung over Washington, DC for the
past week.

There were a few wisps of cirrostratus hanging in the east, but most of
the rest of the sky was clear, especially in the north. Several of us
stood in my front yard, and as MIR went by we all waved at Norm. MIR
brightened to about -1.5 mag as it moved from the vicinity of Kochab to
Vega, where it went behind the aforementioned cloud.

4 minutes later, "Atlantis" appeared, taking most of us by surprise as
it seemingly burst out from behind a tree at mag -2.0. It brightened
steadily to better than -2.5, outshining Jupiter, which was in a clear
spot in the southeast. Shortly after "Atlantis" passed just south of
Vega it disappeared into the earth's shadow, fading to invisibility
in a matter of about 10 seconds. It was a truly spectacular sight,
and I feel very fortunate that I was able to see it. About 60 miles
west of my house it has been raining torrentially, with about half
a meter of precipitation in the past 24 hours. Had I been at my "dark
sky" site, I would have never seen it and might still be out there
stranded at the top of the hill!

Let's hope for clear skies on 6/30 and 7/1, when we have our last 2 good
evening passes of the docked spacecraft!


& Geoff Chester Albert Einstein Planetarium nasep007_at_sivm.si.edu &
& "If you push something hard enough it will fall over" &
& -- Fudd's First Law of Opposition &
Received on Thu Jun 29 1995 - 11:23:13 UTC

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