Observatory Logo

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 

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
WWW contact: webmaster@star.arm.ac.uk
Go to HOME Page Home Page