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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Apr > Apr 20

Re: UFO Seen Over Barrow-In-Furness - Shough

From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul>
Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2007 22:18:59 +0100
Fwd Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2007 07:51:37 -0400
Subject: Re: UFO Seen Over Barrow-In-Furness - Shough

>From: Jim Deardorff <deardorj.nul>
>To: ufoupdates.nul
>Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2007 09:25:33 -0700
>Subject: Re: UFO Seen Over Barrow-In-Furness

>>>At that latitude, a satellite would have a very strong northwest
>>>or southwest approach direction, not just "west to east."

>>Hi Jim

>>Generally this is true. But I wonder if this might have been the
>>ISS, quite bright at mag -0.8, which would have been visible
>>from Barrow on Sat 14th crossing the southern sky between about
>>2145 and 2148 (close to the "around 10 pm" reported) from the
>>region of Orion on the WSW horizon to Coma Berenices in the

>>If so then the witness only saw the end of the track for "about
>>15 secs" before the ISS passed into the shadow, when it would
>>have traced a relatively level apparent W-E course above the
>>horizon descending no more than a few degrees to its
>>disappareance point at 35 degs in the ESE.



>According to that URL, the ISS when viewed from London's
>latitude of about 52 degrees passed within 2 degrees to the
>north of directly overhead. At Barrow-in-Furness, which is 2
>degrees north, and only 3 degrees longitude to the west of
>London, it must have passed nearly overhead also.  So it would
>have been viewed as coming from the southwest going northeast,
>and actually going more from "south to north" than from "east
>to west."

I don't know where your figures are coming from, Jim, but not
from the satellite visible-pass and ground track data at the
link I supplied. If you input the lat/long of Barrow you will
get the figures I've already quoted. The ISS was nowhere near
the zenith at any time but had culminated at 49 degs and by the
end of its track was in a shallow descent to extinction at 35
degs. The relatively low altitude of the track in the southern
sky, and the fact the witness describes what would correspond to
only the last 15 secs of of the visible track, combine to
explain why what was seen appeared to travel "west to east".

In fact the ground track is not far off E-W in this case, but
the perceived direction of travel will have relatively little to
do with the inclination of the true ground track  and more to do
with the projected _apparent_ path on the sky. If the witness is
facing roughly south and this path is even approximately right
to left then this equals "west to east" as far as most people
are concerned. In this case the apparent path of the ISS is
descending at only a shallow angle and is travelling basically
westward above the ESE horizon during the 15 seconds before
entering the shadow.

I'd say the witness gave a reasonable description of the ISS in
the right part of the sky at the right time and travelling in
the right direction. A simple but instructive example of the
fact that eyewitness descriptions - even in newspapers - _can_
sometimes be dependable!

Martin Shough

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