Friday, February 19, 2010

Observing Shuttle Bay Lights

I just had one of the more random observing nights. Bizarre.

So.... we're tracking the shuttle (which was attached to the space station). The astronauts were doing some stuff with the shuttle that we were supposed to see. When we first saw them pop up over the horizon, the whole thing looked unusually bright so I took a shot before it went dark. Very confusing - the spectrum looked like a fluorescent light bulb. Not at all what we were expecting.

At this point, I thought, well, WTF? I didn't see anything afterwards so the rest of the run was a disappointment. So, you know, maybe the space station left the porch lights on right? We called NASA who was coordinating this stuff with the shuttle. Turns out they had the bay open with the lights on. They didn't know what kind of lights they had. I think I can say they've got some fluorescents.

What was the point of all that?

I'm driving down the mountain and going to bed.


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