Skip to comments.Heads UP: Rare visable double spaceship flybys, Atlantis/Space Station on Monday evening
Posted on 02/17/2008 7:07:25 PM PST by Names Ash Housewares
Space Weather News for Feb. 17, 2008 http://spaceweather.com
DOUBLE FLYBY: If all goes according to plan, space shuttle Atlantis will undock from the International Space Station (ISS) on Monday morning, Feb. 18th, at approximately 4:30 am EST. This is good news for sky watchers across North America who will be able to witness a rare double flyby on Monday evening. Atlantis and the ISS will appear as a tight pair of lights, as bright as Jupiter or Venus, gliding in tandem across the twilight sky--an unforgettable sight. Favored cities include Los Angeles, New Orleans, Dallas, Jackson (MS), Pensacola, Philadelphia, Reno, San Diego and others. Double flybys continue on Tuesday, Feb 19th, albeit not as tight because the shuttle will be moving away from the ISS as it prepares to land on Wednesday, Feb. 20th.
You can receive telephone and email alerts when the spacecraft are about to fly over your backyard by subscribing to Spaceweather PHONE (http://spaceweatherphone.com) or look for flyby timetables at Heavens Above (http://heavens-above.com). And should you miss the event, visit http://spaceweather.com for images and movies.
FR bookmark , .. .. ((”down to the beach!”))
We saw the ISS go by on Saturday night, and it was just awesome! The sky was absolutely clear, and we got a full five minutes unobstructed view of it. I don’t know if we’ll be able to see both on Monday night, because it’s supposed to be cloudy, dang it!
A little later, I looked up and saw another object above. It was not as bright as the shuttle or ISS. It looked for all purposes as a satellite in orbit. However, instead of a steady, straight trajectory as all the satellites I'd seen before in orbit, this one was juking all about moving in a rough northeast to southwest direction.
I told my friend to look up and he saw it, too. The UFO continued to juke around on a zigzag path as it travel across the sky for several minutes before it too disappeared as it went into Earth's shadow.
To this day, I wonder what it was I and my friend saw up there. It was not like anything else I've ever seen in the nighttime sky.
I can recall as a child watching Sputnik (actually it was the satellite's trailing booster rocket also in orbit) in the Fall of 1957. That bright pinpoint of white light marching across the sky in a steady, straight line is seared forever in my memory. Yet over the next 50 years, I have seen many other space payloads, but never another like that juking one of Summer, 2005.
Over the years I've thought often about what the devil the dang thing was and why was it doing that jitterbug dance?
My best guess was it was a military payload doing that juke dance as avoidance to any possible hunter/killer satellite, but that is not something I have ever been able to find in any articles about space warfare.
I cannot believe what I saw was an alien spacecraft chucked full of little green, gray or polka dot guys and/or gals here to steal our secrets, babies, ice, water, molybdenum, supermodels or our only working copy of the Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator. It was not a scout for an invasion or a first cook sample tasting us before writing To Serve Man in his native tongue.
In truth, I do believe there is intelligent life out there in the universe. All those uncountable billions and billions and billions of galaxies and their googol (a 1 followed by 100 zeros) plus number of stars cannot help but over the billions of years since the Big Bang to produce several, if not, millions or billions of different intelligent lifeforms.
In my belief, they do not sit up nights worrying about us. I don't believe they are constantly coming here to watch us, but it would not be a life changing event for me if they showed up one day before I pass away.
Matter of fact... where are you guys? I want to know what that was I saw back in 2005 and I ain't getting any younger!!!
I’m staying awake for that.
I think I saw the ISS pass overhead when I lived in NY. I was in the schoolyard of my old elementary school, on my roller blades. I looked up, and I saw this blue dot moving on the sky.
It was pretty cool.
You may have seen a trash unit being ejected from the ISS (they fall and burn up in the atmosphere, but can move around quite a bit)...or perhaps one of the electrical experiments where the long “canvas” was eventually cut loose.
Nope, the orbit of the 'whatever' was nowhere near the Shuttle or ISS. It was a single point of light doing a jitterbug moving in a rough northeast to southwest direction that would bisect the Shuttle and ISS orbits, not parallel them.
Thanks for the heads-up - partly cloudy here tomorrow, but the last time we looked for a satellite, we had a break, 80% cloud cover, but a clear track for the ship.
I once observed two space shuttles flying simultaneously. THAT was cool.
I happened to see a satellite about as bright as a normal star, going across the heavens. I too noticed it seemed to be zig zagging. After watching it for maybe a minute, I realized it acutally wasn't doing the zig zag, it was an optical illusion.
that sounds like a trick statement.
Assuming one was on the back of a 747?
“Assuming one was on the back of a 747?”
Yep....I had gotten up early - right before sunrise to watch one in orbit come by.....lo and behold, I’m tracking it and the 747 w/piggyback flew right over at that very moment.
Thanks for posting. BTTT!
Once upon a time
A girl with moonlight in her eyes
Put her hand in mine,
And said she loved me so...
But that was once upon a time...
Very long ago
Once upon a hill
We sat beneath a willow tree
Counting all the stars
And waiting for the dawn
But that was once upon a time,
Now the tree is gone
How the breeze ruffled through her hair
How we always laughed
As though tomorrow wasn't there...
We were young
And didn't have a care
Where did it go?
Once upon a time
the world was sweeter than we knew
Everything was ours
How happy we were then
But somehow once upon a time
Never comes again....
Bobby Darin: Once Upon a Time
Incredible! I saw the same thing in ‘05 and always wondered what it was. I remember back in 1969, my brother and I were camping on the Mt. Whitney Trail (in the High Sierra of California) and from our tents saw a slow moving light in the night sky, as big and bright as the full moon. My brother thought it was like a scene from Invaders from Mars but two days later when we made it down the mountain to the town of Lone Pine, we found out that it was a Russian satellite reentering orbit.
BTW if I recall correctly, Lone Pine is one place other than the Four Corners area John Ford did a lot of shooting for his western films? If so, it is some wonderful countryside to admire.
I loved that song so very much, but by Tony Bennett. It was the flip side of “I Left My Heart In San Francisco”. I always liked “Once Upon A Time better”.
Well, my friend in 2005 was male and we are both very heterosexual and I find it hard to believe "that is all we were doing" in the late 60s to early 70s days of Free Love.
So all I can say is you appear to possibly have been a victim of a semif**king hallucination while wanting to do a full blown "luv zig zag" with your female blanket mate!
Of course, I could be mistaken... as I've been drinking and wenching all weekend!
It is a well-known optical illusion that occurs with satellites that change their reflectance because they are tumbling. As they flicker in brightness, they appear to be moving in a zig-zag or jerky motion.
That may be it, but the point of light I saw was not flickering at all. It was a strong, steady point of light doing a jitterbug while moving in a rough northeast to southwest orbit.
Yes it was. And John Wayne made a number of films there. See my profile.
Another version by Darin (LP)..........
The illusion can also be seen even if the light is not flickering, but flickering tends to intensify it. It is a very intense illusion when the visual field is mostly empty as in the case of the night sky. The illsuion is based on the microsaccadic motion of your eyes as they try to intensely fixate a small target. The microsaccades are due to normal physiological motor activity of the extraocular muscles.
Where in the sky will it be?
I am in Rancho Mirage-Palm Springs
Sounds like you are saying I have oculosis!
That is where the optic nerve... gets tangled with the lower colon and gives one a crappy outlook on life!
Might be, Jame T for Timber, but I must go to beddy by as I have to go in for some minor surgery (Minor my A$$ only when it is some else going under the knife!) in the morning.
I remember camping out under the starry night in central Texas before the skyglow and haze ruined it. Right before dawn it still seemed like there were a million stars and then one of them started to move - it was a satellite. I still get goosebumps remembering it. That must have been '68 or so.
One interesting fact is that, about 100 miles away from where I was, in the direction of this object, is the Navy's ELF radio transmitter near Clam Lake, WI (cue spooky theramin music).
I, too, still sometimes speculate about what that thing was.
Some friends and I saw a similar thing while camping on Mt. Rainier back in the ‘80s. One of us noticed a light moving far up in the night sky, and we all watched it go over, presuming it to be a satellite.
When it was directly above us, however, it made an impossibly sharp right angle turn, then accellerated into the distance.
We just sort of laughed in awe and shrugged our shoulders. What else could you do?
Just watched the show. Thanks for the heads up.
Triple header in Boston tonight.
ISS / Atlantis at 5:45 PM from the west, followed by USA 193 at 6:20 from the southwest.
It’s very unlikely that you saw a satellite at 1:00 AM. Low Earth orbit satellites would be in the earth’s shadow and higher orbits too far away (most likely) and moving too slowly against the background stars to pick up. Probably an aircraft. Or ET.
Best time to view LEO satellites is just after sunset or just before sunrise, when you’re in darkness and they’re high enough to catch the sun.
Also, almost all satellites orbit from west to east, in the same direction as the earth rotates. Taking advantage of the earth’s rotation saves fuel. NE/SW would be a retrograde orbit. Very rare, I know of no examples.
“If It Ever Stops Snowing & The Sky Clears” Bump!
Wow, you're old, I didn't think Mt Whitney even existed way back that far!
Seriously, its a beatiful area, I have climbed Mt Whitney twice, once from the back with a big group, and once from the front solo. It is a great place to be if you want to view the heavens. Not such a great place if you want to breathe.
Last Fall I saw two very bright satellites flying together. They didn't show up on any of the tracking sites, and they weren't the ISS or the Shuttle. It was about the same time that the Syrian nuke plant got blasted.
I think what you saw might have been the flight that delivered an alien Scientolotot to the couch-jumping Cruise and his next potential life partner, “’til divorce do us part,” Kat.
Kind of an intergalactic stork?
Kind of :)
I was able to observe once, shuttle, Mir, and a Soyuz.
All crewed one passing after the other.
Could this have been what you saw?