Space shuttle in Bay Area skies on Sunday

The flight is Endeavour's last as Space Shuttle program winds down

The International Space Station and space shuttle Endeavour will be over the Bay Area early Sunday morning and could be visible from the ground if the sky is clear, according to the NASA

Ames Research Center.

The shuttle and space station will be in orbit nearly 220 miles above the earth's surface and will look like a bright star approaching from

the southwest and moving directly overhead, according to NASA.

The shuttle and space station will be visible at about 4:27 a.m. Sunday, according to NASA. The shuttle also passed overhead at about 5:15 a.m. Friday.

The space shuttle and its six-man crew are on a 16-day mission to deliver an Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, or AMS, and spare parts to the space station.

The spectrometer is a 15,000-pound particle-physics detector designed to search for unusual matter by measuring cosmic rays. Experiments with AMS data are designed to help researchers study the formation of the universe and search for evidence of dark matter, strange matter and antimatter, according to NASA.

The mission is the final flight for Endeavour and the next-to-last flight for the Space Shuttle Program, according to NASA.

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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 27, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Is it legal to be outside in the dark anywhere in Palo Alto at 4 in the morning? The only place to get a clear view of dark sky is in some of our parks or schoolyards. Municipal Code chapter 22 closes everything at sunset or 10:30pm at the latest. Setting foot into Mitchell Park to watch the shuttle would require a permit. Does anybody look at the night sky anymore or are we supposed to be content viewing it on our computer screens?

For an ISS pass I can make do seeing it between streetlights, but for something like a meteor shower I'll drive up to Skyline Blvd. Anyone have any favorite dark-sky places to go locally?

Like this comment
Posted by Star Watcher
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 27, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Windy Hill is our favorite place to take the telescope. You don't actually need to go into the park, just park in the parking lot and there is a lot of sky and no light polution. We have been approached by rangers, but once they see the telescope they don't seem to mind. There are often groups there with telescopes in the parking lot.

You should be able to see this without a telescope though.

We have been in local parks with the telescope and that seems to be ok too. The telescope is almost like a night pass.

Mitchell Park parking lot has also been used for 5.00 am rendezvous for parents to drop off teenagers for trips and carpools. There are no immediate neighbors to disturb with the banging of car doors, etc.

Providing you have a legitimate reason for using the park during the night there probably will not be a problem.

Like this comment
Posted by qq
a resident of Barron Park
on May 27, 2011 at 10:19 pm

ISS passes all the time and is easily visible with the naked eye.

Web Link

Move fun to break out the VHF and talk with them via voice/data.

Web Link


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