APOD: Spacecrafts Streak Over Colorado (2011 Mar 14)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
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APOD: Spacecrafts Streak Over Colorado (2011 Mar 14)

Post by APOD Robot » Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:06 am

Image Spacecrafts Streak Over Colorado

Explanation: Have you ever seen a "star" drifting slowly overhead, but not known what it was? Sometimes even pointing it out to friends or family will only lead to a shrug. What you are seeing, most likely, is a spacecraft in low Earth orbit reflecting back sunlight as it circles the Earth once every 90 minutes or so. Two of the brighter spacecraft in the present day sky are the International Space Station (ISS), and, when it is up, a NASA space shuttle. As relative orientations change, the brightness of reflections may also change, sometimes suddenly. Another source of bright drifting objects, Iridium communication satellites, may even appear to flare up to become brighter than any other sky object for a few seconds. Pictured above, two bright points of light separated by only a few degrees drifted together across the sky above Lory State Park, Colorado, USA last week, just after sunset. These lights were were the ISS and the space shuttle Discovery, which had undocked from the ISS a few hours earlier. Given a digital fusion of many separate camera exposures and a wide angle perspective, the pair appears above as streaks in front of point-like stars. Web sites now exist that can help you identify unknown "drifters" and even predict the time of the next pass of the ISS visible from your location.

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Guest

Re: APOD: Spacecrafts Streak Over Colorado (2011 Mar 14)

Post by Guest » Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:19 am

the pair appears above as steaks in front of point-like stars.
I get hungry just thinking about it.

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Re: APOD: Spacecrafts Streak Over Colorado (2011 Mar 14)

Post by neufer » Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:44 am

Guest wrote:
the pair appears above as steaks in front of point-like stars.
I get hungry just thinking about it.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2cFji4C ... re=related[/youtube]
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James Manista

Re: APOD: Spacecrafts Streak Over Colorado (2011 Mar 14)

Post by James Manista » Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:18 am

Cumbersome word--is it possible the plural of spacecraft is just spacecraft? Like deer?

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Re: APOD: Spacecrafts Streak Over Colorado (2011 Mar 14)

Post by neufer » Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:40 am

James Manista wrote:
Cumbersome word--is it possible the plural of spacecraft is just spacecraft? Like deer?
No, deer: air shafts, bank drafts, life rafts, skin grafts...
Art Neuendorffer

DLH

Re: APOD: Spacecrafts Streak Over Colorado (2011 Mar 14)

Post by DLH » Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:53 am

I notice on the picture, and when I saw them overhead where I am, that the two spacecraft are not in the same orbit plane. When they separate, is part of the separation burn out-of-plane?

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Re: APOD: Spacecrafts Streak Over Colorado (2011 Mar 14)

Post by bystander » Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:15 pm

spacecraft (plural spacecrafts or spacecraft)

Usage notes
  • The correct plural form is "spacecraft", however spacecrafts is quite common.
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
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Re: APOD: Spacecrafts Streak Over Colorado (2011 Mar 14)

Post by neufer » Mon Mar 14, 2011 1:13 pm

DLH wrote:I notice on the picture, and when I saw them overhead where I am, that the two spacecraft are not in the same orbit plane. When they separate, is part of the separation burn out-of-plane?
They are probably separated mostly in altitude in the same plane;
however, it is unlikely that the ISS orbit plane exactly coincides with Cape Canaveral so
part of the separation burn is out-of-plane (though the Shuttle can compensate for that later as a plane).
(Am I plain about that?)
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: APOD: Spacecrafts Streak Over Colorado (2011 Mar 14)

Post by owlice » Mon Mar 14, 2011 1:15 pm

Oh, I should have not had the volume up so much on my laptop for one of those links!
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Re: APOD: Spacecrafts Streak Over Colorado (2011 Mar 14)

Post by neufer » Mon Mar 14, 2011 1:30 pm

bystander wrote:spacecraft (plural spacecrafts or spacecraft)

Usage notes
  • The correct plural form is "spacecraft", however spacecrafts is quite common.
I would think that if two Shuttles were on the ground they would be "spacecraft" ready to launch
but the ISS and a Shuttle are "spacecrafts" in space.

A school of fish contains all the same kind but a group of fishes contains different kinds.
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: APOD: Spacecrafts Streak Over Colorado (2011 Mar 14)

Post by neufer » Mon Mar 14, 2011 1:35 pm

owlice wrote:
Oh, I should have not had the volume up so much on my laptop for one of those links!
Yippee Ti Yi Yo, get along little dogies
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Re: APOD: Spacecrafts Streak Over Colorado (2011 Mar 14)

Post by owlice » Mon Mar 14, 2011 1:39 pm

lol! Not that one, but I'd pay money to hear you sing that!
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Re: APOD: Spacecrafts Streak Over Colorado (2011 Mar 14)

Post by orin stepanek » Mon Mar 14, 2011 1:43 pm

owlice wrote:Oh, I should have not had the volume up so much on my laptop for one of those links!
Did you hear the birdies sing; and the dog barking?
Art; I liked your Roy Rogers video! 8-)
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
Orin

Smile today; tomorrow's another day!

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Re: APOD: Spacecrafts Streak Over Colorado (2011 Mar 14)

Post by owlice » Mon Mar 14, 2011 1:49 pm

orin stepanek wrote:
owlice wrote:Oh, I should have not had the volume up so much on my laptop for one of those links!
Did you hear the birdies sing; and the dog barking?
Wasn't referring to that link, either, though enjoyed hearing the cardinals and the crows in it! The dog made the old cat's ears perk up. :ssmile:
A closed mouth gathers no foot.

jd

Re: APOD: Spacecrafts Streak Over Colorado (2011 Mar 14)

Post by jd » Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:05 pm

another digital dupe

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Re: APOD: Spacecrafts Streak Over Colorado (2011 Mar 14)

Post by owlice » Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:27 pm

I wish I had thought to try to photograph the ISS and Discovery when I watched them pass overhead last week! It hadn't even occurred to me to try.

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Re: APOD: Spacecrafts Streak Over Colorado (2011 Mar 14)

Post by florid_snow » Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:44 pm

I remember seeing these two! I live in Salt Lake City, but when I saw them they streaked north through Auriga towards Ursa Minor...

I remember thinking it was weird to see two satellites so bright streaking north... does anyone know why they would appear to head north for me when in this picture they seem to be going in the east-west direction? It was about 7:37pm local time for me when I saw them.

Anthony Barreiro

Re: APOD: Spacecrafts Streak Over Colorado (2011 Mar 14)

Post by Anthony Barreiro » Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:49 pm

The stars seem quite bright, especially for twilight. I can't see Lynx naked eye even in a fully dark sky. Is this solely due to long exposure photography, or were the stars digitally enhanced?

orhay

Re: APOD: Spacecrafts Streak Over Colorado (2011 Mar 14)

Post by orhay » Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:01 pm

What on earth is the streak across the earth?

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Re: APOD: Spacecrafts Streak Over Colorado (2011 Mar 14)

Post by biddie67 » Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:14 pm

My favorite program for spotting satellites overhead is "Orbitron"- I've had it for years. I see both the ISS and the HST a couple times a month. Every once in a while I happen to catch one of the others in the "visible" file.

weasle

Re: APOD: Spacecrafts Streak Over Colorado (2011 Mar 14)

Post by weasle » Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:13 pm

orhay wrote:What on earth is the streak across the earth?
Yeah, that's what I wanna know!

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Re: APOD: Spacecrafts Streak Over Colorado (2011 Mar 14)

Post by florid_snow » Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:20 am

weasle wrote:
orhay wrote:What on earth is the streak across the earth?
Yeah, that's what I wanna know!
You mean the red colored linear feature in the grass?? I think its just a trail made by humans walking consistently on that area killing the grass that would otherwise be there. "Perhaps small local variations in topography make that particular path over the surface desirable to get to some other location, scenic view, water source, etc," said some know-it-all sitting next to me, who then suggested finding the gradient of the field. I told him these people were probably being sarcastic.

graywave

Re: APOD: Spacecrafts Streak Over Colorado (2011 Mar 14)

Post by graywave » Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:39 am

however spacecrafts is quite common.
Sorry, I don't care how common it is, "spacecrafts" is not a word any literate person would use.

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Re: APOD: Spacecrafts Streak Over Colorado (2011 Mar 14)

Post by owlice » Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:35 am

graywave wrote: Sorry, I don't care how common it is, "spacecrafts" is not a word any literate person would use.
Obviously, this is incorrect.
A closed mouth gathers no foot.

DLH

Re: APOD: Spacecrafts Streak Over Colorado (2011 Mar 14)

Post by DLH » Sat Mar 19, 2011 1:03 pm

The headline says:

Spacecrafts Streak Over Colorado

but in the body of the text it says:

Two of the brighter spacecraft in the present day sky are...


So even this article does not use the plural consistently!