16 October 2006

Astronomy update

Satellite viewing has gotten more difficult lately, primarily for weather reasons. Along with the milder weather I've seen a lot more clouds, especially at night. The sky is also hazier which really hinders viewing conditions. Fortunately the moon is in the waning crescent stage so moonlight hasn't be a factor the past few days.

Early this morning I happened to gaze up at the easily recognizable constellation Orion and as luck would have it a satellite was moving right across it. I noted the time and general direction of movement, and then matched that information with satellite predictions of that time period to determine it was the Lacrosse 5 reconnaissance satellite (a couple of which we have already seen).

As you can see from the picture below, the satellite came into view just below the constellation Cassiopeia and then passed right through the middle of Orion (where I spotted it) on its way past Sirius (the brightest star in the night-time sky) in the constellation Canis Major.
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