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Monday, April 19, 2010

Discovery Re-entry Path Over WNC Mountains Tomorrow This Morning!

**03-09-2011** If you are looking for coverage of the last landing of the Discovery, click here to see.


**update 6.22am** NASA has waved off the first attempt at KSC due to ground fog at the Florida landing strip. So, there will be no sky show over western North Carolina this morning. You can watch the online coverage by SpaceVidCast instead. I'm so bummed.


**update 4/20/2010 5.32am** NASA has released new ground tracks for the Discovery's re-entry attempts today.


Attempt #1 on orbit 237:


Attempt #2 on orbit 238: (no sighting opportunities for us in western North Carolina)


A piece of bad news is that it will probably be cloudy over western North Carolina at the time of the re-entry. Try your luck anyway. It just might be bright enough (especially if it passes higher than 40 degrees elevation in the sky) to be seen behind the thinner portions of the cloud cover. 


And if you can't see it, you have the opportunity to watch the excellent coverage provided by SpaceVidCast online










A very rare treat is in store for people over parts of the USA tomorrow morning, these are the areas that will get to see some of the action:






DISCOVERY’S GEOGRAPHIC FLYOVERS FOR TUESDAY’S LANDING OPPORTUNITIES
KSC Orbit 237:


Over Vancouver Island, Canada
Over southern Alberta province
Over the northern border of Montana and North Dakota
Over Minnesota near Minneapolis-St. Paul
Over Chicago
Over Indianapolis
South of Cincinnati
Over eastern Kentucky and eastern Tennessee
Over western North Carolina near Asheville (this is close to me!!! SQUEE!)
Over western South Carolina near Spartanburg
Over eastern Georgia, crossing the Atlantic coastline east of Brunswick
Out over the Atlantic, east of Jacksonville on into the Kennedy Space Center




What to Expect


The shuttle will be passing over western North Carolina at around 7:20 to 7:20 AM EDT. It will only be visible for a brief couple of minutes, so be ready to catch the action. It won't be completely dark, but will be dark enough to see the shuttle glowing and a plasma gas trail behind it. It you have video cameras, I suggest you get them out and put them on a tripod and you'll have something to remember the event by!!!


Here are a couple of videos taken of previous reentries by shuttles so you'll have some idea of what to expect:


































More Details


So now the next question is, will you be able to see it where you are? And if so, where do you look? 


The Discovery will pass within 77 miles of my house(very low in the sky), and just 36 miles from Asheville, NC (and more than 2/3 of the way up in the sky) if it lands on the 237th orbit. If it lands at a later orbit, we won't get to see it. So, keep your fingers crossed that she comes down on the first try!


I've already checked out the situation for a couple of locations, and this is what I found...


This is the data for my location (Franklin, NC):


NASA SKYWATCH TABLE OUTPUT
Local TimeAzimuthElevationRangeSolar altSolar SepSRSS
dow/mm/dd/hh:mm:ssDeg E of NDegMilesDegDegDeg
Tue-Apr-20@07:18:05
Tue-Apr-20@07:18:05
Tue-Apr-20@07:18:36
Tue-Apr-20@07:18:51
Tue-Apr-20@07:19:06
Tue-Apr-20@07:19:22
Tue-Apr-20@07:19:37
Tue-Apr-20@07:19:53
Tue-Apr-20@07:20:08
Tue-Apr-20@07:20:23
Tue-Apr-20@07:20:39
Tue-Apr-20@07:20:54
Tue-Apr-20@07:21:09
Tue-Apr-20@07:21:25
Tue-Apr-20@07:21:40
Tue-Apr-20@07:21:55
Tue-Apr-20@07:22:11
Tue-Apr-20@07:22:26
Tue-Apr-20@07:22:41
Tue-Apr-20@07:22:57
Tue-Apr-20@07:23:12
Tue-Apr-20@07:23:28
Tue-Apr-20@07:23:43
Tue-Apr-20@07:23:58
Tue-Apr-20@07:24:14
Tue-Apr-20@07:24:29
Tue-Apr-20@07:24:44
Tue-Apr-20@07:24:60
Tue-Apr-20@07:25:15
Tue-Apr-20@07:25:30
Tue-Apr-20@07:25:46
Tue-Apr-20@07:26:01
334.9
336.6
338.4
340.4
342.7
345.4
348.7
352.6
357.7
004.7
014.7
029.9
052.5
079.8
103.0
118.6
128.9
136.0
141.3
145.4
148.7
151.6
153.9
155.6
156.8
157.6
158.1
158.4
158.4
158.3
158.0
157.7
000.6
001.3
002.1
002.9
003.9
005.0
006.3
007.9
009.9
012.5
016.0
020.3
024.3
024.7
021.2
017.0
013.6
011.1
009.1
007.6
006.4
005.4
004.6
003.9
003.2
002.6
002.1
001.7
001.2
000.9
000.5
000.2
00509
00462
00417
00373
00330
00289
00250
00212
00176
00144
00115
00091
00077
00075
00084
00101
00121
00142
00164
00184
00204
00224
00242
00260
00278
00295
00311
00327
00342
00355
00368
00380
009.4
009.8
010.1
010.4
010.7
011.0
011.2
011.5
011.6
011.8
012.0
012.1
012.2
012.3
012.4
012.4
012.4
012.4
012.4
012.3
012.3
012.2
012.1
012.1
012.0
011.9
011.9
011.9
011.8
011.8
011.8
011.8
143.9
143.6
143.2
142.8
142.5
142.2
141.9
141.6
141.3
141.0
140.7
140.5
140.3
140.0
139.9
139.7
139.5
139.3
139.2
139.1
138.9
138.8
138.7
138.6
138.5
138.4
138.3
138.1
138.0
137.9
137.8
137.6
004.0
004.0
004.1
004.1
004.2
004.2
004.3
004.3
004.4
004.4
004.5
004.5
004.6
004.6
004.7
004.7
004.8
004.8
004.9
004.9
005.0
005.0
005.1
005.1
005.2
005.2
005.3
005.3
005.4
005.4
005.5
005.5

And this is the data for Asheville, NC for the orbit 237 KSC Landing:

NASA SKYWATCH TABLE OUTPUT
Local TimeAzimuthElevationRangeSolar altSolar SepSRSS
dow/mm/dd/hh:mm:ssDeg E of NDegMilesDegDegDeg
Tue-Apr-20@07:18:05
Tue-Apr-20@07:18:05
Tue-Apr-20@07:18:36
Tue-Apr-20@07:18:51
Tue-Apr-20@07:19:06
Tue-Apr-20@07:19:22
Tue-Apr-20@07:19:37
Tue-Apr-20@07:19:53
Tue-Apr-20@07:20:08
Tue-Apr-20@07:20:23
Tue-Apr-20@07:20:39
Tue-Apr-20@07:20:54
Tue-Apr-20@07:21:09
Tue-Apr-20@07:21:25
Tue-Apr-20@07:21:40
Tue-Apr-20@07:21:55
Tue-Apr-20@07:22:11
Tue-Apr-20@07:22:26
Tue-Apr-20@07:22:41
Tue-Apr-20@07:22:57
Tue-Apr-20@07:23:12
Tue-Apr-20@07:23:28
Tue-Apr-20@07:23:43
Tue-Apr-20@07:23:58
Tue-Apr-20@07:24:14
Tue-Apr-20@07:24:29
Tue-Apr-20@07:24:44
Tue-Apr-20@07:24:60
Tue-Apr-20@07:25:15
Tue-Apr-20@07:25:30
Tue-Apr-20@07:25:46
Tue-Apr-20@07:26:01
329.2
330.2
331.3
332.4
333.6
334.9
336.4
338.1
340.1
342.7
346.7
355.1
033.8
130.9
148.0
153.8
157.0
159.4
161.2
162.9
164.4
165.7
166.9
167.6
168.1
168.2
168.2
168.0
167.6
167.2
166.7
166.1
000.6
001.4
002.2
003.1
004.1
005.3
006.8
008.8
011.4
015.3
022.0
035.7
063.5
050.1
029.1
019.4
014.3
011.1
008.9
007.3
006.1
005.0
004.2
003.5
002.9
002.3
001.8
001.4
001.0
000.6
000.3
000.0
00505
00457
00411
00365
00321
00278
00236
00196
00157
00120
00086
00055
00036
00041
00063
00090
00116
00142
00166
00190
00212
00233
00254
00273
00291
00309
00326
00341
00356
00369
00382
00393
009.4
009.8
010.1
010.4
010.7
011.0
011.2
011.5
011.6
011.8
012.0
012.1
012.2
012.3
012.4
012.4
012.4
012.4
012.4
012.3
012.3
012.2
012.1
012.1
012.0
011.9
011.9
011.9
011.8
011.8
011.8
011.8
143.5
143.2
142.8
142.4
142.1
141.8
141.4
141.1
140.8
140.6
140.3
140.0
139.8
139.6
139.4
139.2
139.0
138.9
138.7
138.6
138.5
138.4
138.3
138.1
138.0
137.9
137.8
137.7
137.5
137.4
137.3
137.1
004.7
004.7
004.8
004.9
004.9
005.0
005.0
005.1
005.1
005.2
005.2
005.3
005.3
005.4
005.4
005.5
005.5
005.6
005.6
005.7
005.7
005.8
005.8
005.9
005.9
006.0
006.0
006.1
006.1
006.2
006.2
006.3



A big, wet, sloppy kiss goes to Space Weather for the heads up on this very rare opportunity.


If you get an exposure with a still camera, or get dome video of the event and upload it to the Internet, please feel free to drop a link in the comments. 

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