Author Topic: Sky Watching  (Read 44525 times)

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Offline RobertW

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Re: Sky Watching
« Reply #75 on: Feb 01, 03, 12:18:08 AM »
The shuttle should have landed by now.  It is still lost!!!!   :'(

Offline RobertW

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Re: Sky Watching
« Reply #76 on: Feb 01, 03, 12:19:06 AM »
Contingency procedures in progress Possible catistrophic failure during reentry.  It has not been seen or heard from since reentry!!!

Offline RobertW

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Re: Sky Watching
« Reply #77 on: Feb 01, 03, 12:20:25 AM »
It Appears that a TRAGEDY has occurred.  They lost the Shuttle over TEXAS!

Offline RobertW

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Re: Sky Watching
« Reply #78 on: Feb 01, 03, 12:22:24 AM »
NASA is in contengency mode and is securing all data.
SHUTTLE WAS LOST DURING REENTRY.  

Offline Stitches

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Re: Sky Watching
« Reply #79 on: Feb 01, 03, 12:25:16 AM »
I made visual confirmation at about 5:57AM.  I was on a ridge overlooking Palmdale past Jackson Lake.  Long yellowish ionization trail was seen.

Offline RobertW

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Re: Sky Watching
« Reply #80 on: Feb 01, 03, 12:27:50 AM »
Quote
I made visual confirmation at about 5:57AM.  I was on a ridge overlooking Palmdale past Jackson Lake.  Long yellowish ionization trail was seen.


I'm glad your getting out early wasn't wasted.  It is quite a sight, isn't it.  Unfortunately it looks like you were one of the last ones to see it.  It is a SAD day.  It is all over the news right now.

Offline Stitches

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Re: Sky Watching
« Reply #81 on: Feb 01, 03, 12:41:13 AM »
I am watching on CNN what appears to be a Shuttle breakup over Texas.  I saw no multiple tracks in California.  There is a recorded incident of a pilot ejecting from an SR-71 breakup at Mach 2 and surviving.

Offline RobertW

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Re: Sky Watching
« Reply #82 on: Feb 01, 03, 01:00:11 AM »
Quote
I am watching on CNN what appears to be a Shuttle breakup over Texas.  I saw no multiple tracks in California.  There is a recorded incident of a pilot ejecting from an SR-71 breakup at Mach 2 and surviving.


Looking at all the video on TV, and with it happening with the shuttle over 200,000 feet up, it seems that there would be no survivors.

People don't realize how dangerous a shuttle launch and landing is.  It becomes "just old hat" to most people.  The percentage of Catestrophic Failure is calculated at 1 in every 75 missions, though they felt they were improving on that.

Offline Stitches

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Re: Sky Watching
« Reply #83 on: Feb 01, 03, 01:06:51 AM »
High Dynamic Pressure. Q.  Structural failure of the oldest Shuttle in the fleet?  At 200,000 feet they were probably at Mach 5-7.

Offline RobertW

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Re: Sky Watching
« Reply #84 on: Feb 01, 03, 02:11:26 AM »
Quote
I made visual confirmation at about 5:57AM.  I was on a ridge overlooking Palmdale past Jackson Lake.  Long yellowish ionization trail was seen.


Just out of curiosity, how high above the horizon was the ioization trail and how far across the sky could it be seen?

GhillieSuit

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Re: Sky Watching
« Reply #85 on: Feb 01, 03, 03:00:55 AM »
I watched the Columbia on TV this morning.  For the second time in two decades, the experience of cognitive dissonance.  Seven brave men and women, skilled beyond most others on the planet, and totally at peace with their individual and collective missions on Earth, disappeared from the stage of life.  Travelling at about 3.7 miles per second, they streaked across the sky, and into immortality; forever more, they will remain alive in our hearts.  For me, I will walk in silence today, remembering those seven souls, and thanking them for their efforts on behalf of all of us.  In the Bhagavad Gita (one of the crew, Kalpana Chawla, was from India) there is a passage that, for me at least, brings some comfort:
"The blessed Lord said,
'You grieve for those who should not be grieved for;
yet you speak wise words.
Neither for the dead nor those not dead do the wise grieve.
Never was there a time when I did not exist
nor you, nor these lords of men.
Neither will there be a time when we shall not exist;
we all exist from now on.
As the soul experiences in this body
childhood, youth, and old age,
so also it acquires another body;
the sage in this is not deluded

Offline Stitches

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Shuttle California siting detailed description
« Reply #86 on: Feb 01, 03, 03:34:00 AM »
I went to the lookout ridge past Ball Flat, little north of Jackson Lake at and exit marked "Boulder Canyon" and Big Pines Highway.  I was there starting at about 5:23AM.  The sky over Palmdale was a hazed cloud at maybe up to 30 degrees.  No compass, position was determined by north star and big dipper which could be clearly seen. I believe Jupiter could be clearly seen in the East but there was a halo around it indicating moisture in the air.  Looking north, I could barely see stars on the horizon through the haze. The sky was clear between N and E directions.  I began an intense scan at 5:53AM and the Shuttle appeared over Palmdale (NNW) at about 20-25 degrees up as predicted.  I was viewing it through the clouds above Palmdale.  Obvious yelllowish ion trail was about 5-10 degrees long, as viewed through the haze.  I remember thinking that I didn't see the Shuttle earlier further to the West because perhaps the cloud cover ( maybe at about 5000 ft to 10000 ft above Palmdale).  The Shuttle moved along, popped out of the haze, a nice bright moving star maybe at 20 degrees up directly north, I think the ion trail diminished somewhat as it moved on, as it headed towards Ball Flat, towards the east, towards the dawn.  I remember as it disappeared over an eastern ridge (NEE) that the Shuttle was not a single moving bright point, but had a trail. Got in the car and began counting, waiting to hear the sonic boom, I never hear it, it must be too far away. Hmmm. They must be in Florida by now.

I believe it one was positioned on Upper Lone Pine, Wrightwood, Say on Orchard St., overlooking Phelan, it could have been seen.

Offline artology

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Re: Sky Watching
« Reply #87 on: Feb 01, 03, 09:47:59 AM »
My husband and I got up at 5 am so we could see the shuttle. We went out on the front deck of our house and right about 5:54 we saw it cross the sky. The front was a bright red orange and there was a small strip of grey discernable just before the vapor trail. As it travelled to the NE it was partially obcured by clouds. We were both so excited because we weren't really sure if we'd be high enough to see it.

Then, we went into town to get some coffee before we headed down the hill to run some errands. As we sat on the deck of Cinnamons someone who overheard us talking about seeing the shuttle told us that there had just been an announcement on the radio that communications had been lost. We've had goosebumps all day. :'(

snowave

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Re: Sky Watching
« Reply #88 on: Feb 03, 03, 04:16:26 PM »
i was in colorado eating breakfast..seemed kinda like deja vu from 17 yrs ago in a weird way..that shock feeling is not much fun..i'm feeling it again tonight..just lost my gramps a few hours ago..

Offline Wrightwood

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Re: Sky Watching
« Reply #89 on: Feb 03, 03, 04:44:07 PM »
Quote
i was in colorado eating breakfast..seemed kinda like deja vu from 17 yrs ago in a weird way..that shock feeling is not much fun..i'm feeling it again tonight..just lost my gramps a few hours ago..

snowave,
I had made plans to go that morning and photograph the shuttle per RobertW's postings and just didn't make it.
I'm sorry to hear about gramps. The passing of a loved one is so difficult.  



Offline Stitches

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Re: Sky Watching
« Reply #90 on: Feb 04, 03, 12:58:52 AM »
Hey Wrightwood, I wish you had been able to get pictures.   They say that's it's possible it started breaking up before TX.   Some people in Flagstaff got shots of something coming off the shuttle.   I figure as fast as it was going that was only minutes after it left my husband's view.  

Snowave, I thought the same thing about the feeling when we lost Challenger.   That sinking feeling was not a good feeling.   Going back and reading some of RobertW's concerns in the minutes before the breaking news was also chilling and I can feel his panic.    I'm sorry about your gramps too.   It's not easy to lose of loved one.


snowave

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Re: Sky Watching
« Reply #91 on: Feb 04, 03, 05:58:56 AM »
thanks for the condolences guys..yeah, it hasn't been the best week..my trip to colorado was ok, but i got hurt on the first day,  (as did my buddy) luckily neither of us seriously, but it hindered the rest of the trip..it didn't snow much, so conditions were marginal, but that doesn't mean anything once columbia was lost, and then of course my grandpa.. the first of all my grandparents to go...its kinda weird..i'm 31 and never lost anyone close to me in my whole family..except my dog, which was pretty devastating even though i was like 15..but i guess its that time in life.

i'll check on that volunteering stuff i mentioned before when i get back..
peace...

Offline naturalist

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Re: Sky Watching
« Reply #92 on: Feb 05, 03, 02:14:00 AM »
This is from a NASA Science News list_serve:

Quote
Feb. 4th, 2003: At the dawn of the space age some 40 years ago, we always
knew who was orbiting Earth or flying to the Moon. Neil Armstrong, Yuri
Gagarin, John Glenn. They were household names--everywhere.

Lately it's different. Space flight has become more "routine." Another
flight of the shuttle. Another visit to the space station. Who's onboard
this time? Unless you're a NASA employee or a serious space enthusiast,
you might not know.

Dave Brown, Rick Husband, Laurel Clark, Kalpana Chawla, Michael Anderson,
William McCool, and Ilan Ramon

Now we know. Those are the names of the seven astronauts who were
tragically lost on Saturday, Feb. 1st, when the space shuttle Columbia
(STS-107) broke apart over Texas.

Before the accident, perhaps, they were strangers to you. But if that's
so, why did you have a knot in your gut when you heard the news? What were
those tears all about? Why do you feel so deep-down sad for seven
strangers?

Astronauts have an unaccountable hold on us. They are explorers. Curious,
humorous, serious, daring, careful. Where they go, they go in peace. Every
kid wants to be one. Astronauts are the essence of humanity.

They are not strangers. They are us.

While still in orbit Dave Brown asked, jokingly, "do we really have to
come back?"

No. But we wish you had.

The Science@NASA team, as does all of NASA and the world, extends
heartfelt sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of the STS-107
crew. Please see the NASA Home Page (http://www.nasa.gov) for more
information on the Columbia Investigation.

--Tony Phillips, Ron Koczor, Bryan Walls, Becky Bray, Patrick Meyer.

Offline RobertW

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Re: Sky Watching
« Reply #93 on: Feb 20, 03, 04:36:39 PM »
I dare you!

For those of you that live in Wrightwood:

Tomorrow, Friday the 21st of February, at exactly 6:13 p.m. go outside (be a minute or so early as your clock may not be accurate), get a clear view of the southern sky and look directly south, or 181 degrees of north to be exact. Raise your eyes to about 46 degrees above level horizon.  (That is half way between level horizon and straight up) and let me know what you saw!!!  (It will only last a few seconds!)

Clear Skies!!

RobertW

Offline Stitches

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Re: Sky Watching
« Reply #94 on: Feb 21, 03, 12:30:10 PM »
Awwww missed it.   I didn't remember until 6:18.   Plus I was stuck at home with kids and had a mountain and trees at 45 degrees above horizon on the south.    What was it?   Satelite?  Vandenburg launch? Weather balloon? UFO??

???

Mountain_Witch

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Re: Sky Watching
« Reply #95 on: Feb 21, 03, 04:18:34 PM »
Dagnabit, I missed it too...now my curiosity is really going as to what were we supposed to be looking for?

Oh, before my memory starts slipping away once again....I was wondering which telescope would you recommend. I know about the reflectors and refractors but am still in question as to if one is better than the other.

Offline RobertW

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Re: Sky Watching
« Reply #96 on: Feb 22, 03, 04:26:00 AM »
Quote
Awwww missed it.   I didn't remember until 6:18.   Plus I was stuck at home with kids and had a mountain and trees at 45 degrees above horizon on the south.    What was it?   Satelite?  Vandenburg launch? Weather balloon? UFO??

???

Didn't anyone see it?

This is what you missed:


This is what caused it:


Iridium Satellite 62
Launch
Date (UTC):      02:13, April 2, 1998
Launch site:      5NIIP Baykonur,Kazakhstan
Launch vehicle:      Proton K

It was a -8 in magnitude.  To give you a comparison, Venus is the brightest thing in the sky outside of the Sun and Moon, and it only reaches a -4 magnitude at its brightest.  The Sun is a -27.

For more info on Iridium Flares check out this site:

http://satobs.org/iridium.html


Offline RobertW

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Re: Sky Watching
« Reply #97 on: Feb 22, 03, 04:53:10 AM »
Quote
Oh, before my memory starts slipping away once again....I was wondering which telescope would you recommend. I know about the reflectors and refractors but am still in question as to if one is better than the other.

I am asked this question all the time.  Unfortunately, that is like asking me what kind of car you should buy.  Alot of it depends on what you are going to use it for and how much money you want to spend.

I will give you some advice that ALL astronomers will give people that ask them what telescope they should buy.  NEVER waste your money on "Department Store" variety telescopes that advertise by how much power they are.  (600 X power).  They are cheap for a reason, and will cause far more frustration than they are worth.  Nothing will turn a person off from astronomy faster than a cheap "Tasco" type telescope.

A decent scope will cost you a little money, although Meade, Celestron and Orion have some fairly decent scopes that are suitable for tinkering around with that aren't too awfully expensive.  While not something a serious amatuer astronomer would use, some of my friends that just want to look at Saturn or Juiper occasionally, seem to like them.

Me, I have a 10" Dobsonian.  It looks like a big cannon.  I get alot of Mirror, 10", for the buck.  The bigger the mirror, the more light that is gathered and thus the more you can see.  The drawback is, it weighs about 75 lbs and is not easily moved around, and I have to know where to look in the sky for something, as it has no computer aided tracking.


6" dobsonians

Here is a link that will answer some of your questions regarding buying a telescope:

http://www.sipe.com/starcruiser/observatory/html/scopendx.htm

Again, buying a decent telescope will cost you some money and it really isn't worth pouring money into something cheap.

My advice is to buy a good set of 10 power binoculars that can be mounted on a camera tripod.  Most astronomers will do much of the "Skywatching" using binoculars.  You'd be amazed at what can be seen with a good set of binoculars.  Then, if the astronomy bug is still biting, then you can invest a little money into a descent scope.


Offline RobertW

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Re: Sky Watching
« Reply #98 on: Mar 26, 03, 11:54:26 AM »
The International Space Station will cross the sky TONIGHT, 3/26/03 from the SW to the NE between 6:43 and 6:47 PM.

At it's peak it will be 63 degrees above the horizon.

Think about the 3 men morooned up there.

Ensen

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Re: Sky Watching
« Reply #99 on: Mar 26, 03, 01:02:52 PM »
They're not exactly marooned.  Russia has an unmanned spacecraft that's capable of bringing them supplies and they have an emergency excape vehicle.  But it is a shame the space program has once again ground to a standstill.