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Spotting the Space Shuttle!

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ONAWHIM

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Monday the shuttle is due to launch at 6:21am ET.
It may be possible to see it from most of the eastern seaboard and some inland states.

Check out Space.com they have a graphic of the Eastern US and where the
Limits of visibility are for SRB burn and up to Main Engine cutoff.

Weather looks good, get up early!


Wm.
 

MaxQ

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I saw the fly by on one of the night launches as far as Richmond Virginia...only trouble was ground clutter....I wasn't able to get far enough out of the city.

One of my astronomer friends did get deep into the country and he confirmed what we saw...small moving yellow white light, going SW to NE.
 

Scotty Dog

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Monday the shuttle is due to launch at 6:21am ET.
It may be possible to see it from most of the eastern seaboard and some inland states.

Check out Space.com they have a graphic of the Eastern US and where the
Limits of visibility are for SRB burn and up to Main Engine cutoff.

Weather looks good, get up early!


Wm.
Seems like a long way from the White Mountains of New Hampshire
Maybe if I was on top of MT Washington I see something,but I dont think so. Scotty dog
 

WillMarchant

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From the Seesat digest comes:

Date: Fri, 26 Mar 2010 20:55:40 -0400
From: "Ted Molczan" <ssl3molcz@rogers.com>
Subject: STS 131 Ascent to ISS Trajectory Spreadsheet
To: <SeeSat-L@satobs.org>

The ascent trajectory and look angles are primarily of interest to observers
near the east coast of North America, interested in observing the shuttle
during its ascent to orbit. STS 131 will be launched at night, but will
begin to exit eclipse about 3 min after launch. The sun will be above the
horizon at more northerly latitudes, making visbility more challenging than
usual.

I have produced an MS Excel spreadsheet to compute azimuth, elevation, R.A.
and Dec, an indication whether the shuttle is in sunlight, or the umbra or
penumbra of Earth's shadow, and the fraction of illumination (based on a
sphere), during STS 131's ascent to orbit on its mission to ISS:

http://satobs.org/seesat_ref/Shuttle/STS_131_Ascent_Trajectory_to_ISS.xls

To use, enter your observation site co-ordinates and the date and time of
lift-off, in the specially labelled cells (those with red coloured font).

The spreadsheet is set up for STS 131's scheduled launch on 2010 Apr 05 at
10:21:22 UTC, as seen from Washington, D.C.

I obtained the trajectory data from The CBS News Space Reporter's Handbook,
by William Harwood:

http://www.cbsnews.com/network/news/space/downloads.html

Scroll down to the SpaceCalc section, and see file SpaceCalcPC_131.zip for
PC or SpaceCalcMac_131.zip for Mac.

Ted Molczan
 

ONAWHIM

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Will,

I can't argue data like that.

I did read the article on space.com and looked up my location on the charts. I may have a window of 30-35 seconds of possible viewing if conditions are right.

The shuttle will be heading in my direction, sort of speak.
You never know...



I sat up to watch the Leonid showers once on a clear night and saw nothing.
I did see a Delta launch from the Cape years ago from Cocoa Beach and wasn't aware of the launch until minutes before lift off.

I am up at that time on Monday and will drive the 2 miles to the shore where I may see something.



Wm.
 

WillMarchant

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Sorry, I didn't mean to contradict anything you said. You can see Shuttle launches from New England and I strongly encourage everybody to try and see this one. I'll keep my fingers crossed that you get good weather!
Best wishes,
Will
 

DAllen

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If you want to see it after it is in orbit Heavens-Above is a great resource for spotting it just before/after daylight. For spotting any other satellite it is quite good as well. Just enter your location and it will give you the times, magnitude and direction for loads of satellites. I've used it many times and it has been very accurate every time.

The magnitude is a little odd though. The lower the number the brighter. The sun is like -26 or something and Venus is usually a -4. Occasionally, the ISS is a -3.3. What's really cool is seeing the SST right before or after docking with the ISS. Then you see 2 dots streaking across the sky.
 

cornyl

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The shuttle will be at about 9 degrees at 6:38 exactly at the same time as sunrise on Monday morning in Philadelphia. Is there a possibility that you could actually see 9 degrees in or around a major city and the also look into the sun and find the shuttle? Ruling out of course fog, haze and smog and clouds.
What do you think?
Cornyl
 
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