From: TerryMosel@aol.com Date: Mon, 10 Feb 2003 19:52:17 EST Subject: Object near ISS after Shuttle re-entry Dear all, This observation was reported to me at the time, but did not seem significant then. However in view of latest NASA reports that something may have broken off or detached from the Shuttle before re-entry, it now seems important. Report by Mrs Valerie Canty, Ballincollig, Co Cork, Lat 51 deg 54' North, Long 8 deg 36m West, who is an experienced amateur astronomer. She was observing the passage of the ISS on 1 February at 19.03 GMT, when she noticed another 'starlike' object travelling ahead of the ISS, in the same orbit. She estimated that it was a bit less than 2 degrees ahead of the ISS, and considerably fainter. She estimated the apparent magnitude of the ISS as magnitude -2, and that of the other object as about magnitude +1.5, 'slightly brighter than Bellatrix'. The objects maintained this relative separation until they disappeared into the Earth's shadow some 4 minutes later. This was long after the Shuttle Columbia had begun re-entry so it was not immediately apparent what this object could be. However if it was travelling in roughly the same orbit as the ISS, then it would have been in a similar orbit to that of the Shuttle before it began de-orbiting. In view of the potential significance of this observation perhaps those recipients with the appropriate knowledge and contacts could forward it to some of the relevant people at NASA. I don't want to just send it to some anonymous person at a NASA email site, where they are probabaly getting bombarded with crazy theories at present: I would like to know that someone actually reads it! If any of you can and do forward it to a relevant official, please tell me so that I know it has been done. Many thanks, Terry Moseley, President, Irish Astronomical Association.
Last Revised: 2003 February 11th
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