Sunday, February 10, 2008

ISS in daylight, and Progress-M62

Inspired by similar observations on Friday by Bram Dorreman, I tried to observe the ISS and the Shuttle just before docking when they made a daylight pass yesterday at 17:43 local time (16:43 UTC). The sun was barely 1 degree under the horizon at that moment.

There was some thin cirrus in the sky, but to my surprise the ISS was ridiculously easy to see with the naked eye! It had a distinct yellow-orange colour, perhaps boosted by the bright blue sky background.

I couldn't see the Shuttle: it was either too faint, to close to the ISS, or the cirrus interfered too much to see it naked eye.

The next ISS pass took place in darkness. ISS was bright, at least -3 if not more. In addition, I observed Progress-M62 again some 10 minutes later. It was fainter than the previous evening, at mag. +1.5. below image shows it passing through the Perseus-Taurus-Auriga area:

(click image to enlarge)

I also observed the NOSS 3-2 duo (03-054A & C) through the telescope, and did so as well with Lacrosse 5 (05-016A) and the Keyhole satellite USA 129 (96-072A). The latter by now is two minutes late and almost a degree off-track with respect to a week old elements.

In spired by recent similar graphs by Bob Christy, I made a lightcurve diagram of Friday's bright flare by Progress-M62:

(click diagram to enlarge)

Here's a similar lightcurve for one of my Space Shuttle STS-122 images of that same evening:

(click diagram to enlarge)

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