Last Mir

From: Penny Fischer-Otte (
Date: Sat Mar 10 2001 - 15:55:14 PST

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    Hi all,
    Wanted to record probably my last sighting of Mir to you all...
    Under crystal clear skies,  and only semi-dark we viewed the last possibly good visible
    pass of Mir from our location.
    Despite predictions, the station appeared out of nowhere about 30 degrees altitude in the
    northeast.  (predictions showed it to appear in the northwest).  The pass was visible
    about two minutes later than the prediction, at 6:26 p.m. ET.   At about 6:27, the station
    appeared to flare to almost -1.0 and turned from a mellow orange to a brilliant blue-white
    before again mellowing to a yellowish orange.
    Thi s was the most notable of this pass.
    That wraps up five years of Mir passes for me.  I've watched Mir in the wee hours of the
    morning, during  public stargazes, at amateur star parties, in my front yard, after work,
    before work,  at 5 a.m. on a Saturday morning in almost a bright sunrise.  I've watched
    noble passes that scanned the entire swatch of the sky, and short little passes that
    barely skimmed the treeline.   On time I had my whole family on the front yard, including
    my mother (now deceased) and father.  My daughter had arranged our lawn chairs in the
    configuration of an "airplane" to view the pass, she was about seven years old.
    I'll miss the Mir!
    Penny Fischer-Otte
    40.297N  74.359W
    Manager, Space Forum
    Monmouth Mobile Observer's Group
    Monmouth County, New Jersey
    Penny Fischer's Astronomy Page
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