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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Dec > Dec 5

Re: Skylab 3

From: Bruce Maccabee <brumac.nul>
Date: Tue, 4 Dec 2007 23:32:09 -0500
Archived: Wed, 05 Dec 2007 10:50:37 -0500
Subject: Re: Skylab 3

>From: James Smith <lunartravel.nul>
>To: ufoupdates.nul
>Date: Mon, 3 Dec 2007 14:08:31 -0500 (EST)
>Subject: Re: Skylab 3

>>From: Bruce Maccabee <brumac.nul>
>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>Date: Sat, 1 Dec 2007 14:27:36 -0500
>>Subject: Re: Skylab 3


>The Earth background being missing is a good point I failed to
>consider. It seems to eliminate the re-entry glow idea, although
>I still have to think about it.

>>>Regarding the images before and after the UFO sequence,
>>>according to the Skylab mission photo guide they are not
>>>immediately before or after. The prior image #2137 is a blurred
>>>attempted photo for the Goddard Laser Experiment which was aimed
>>>at a Maryland region, considerably prior to the UFO photos. The
>>>subsequent image #2142 is of "Lake Erie, Ohio, Ontario, clouds",
>.>a much later time. I doubt the images actually are of the laser
>>>beam (although the laser _was_ tested at red wavelengths),
>>>mainly because I see no reason for the astronauts to mess up
>>>their observations so much and that only two photos of the laser
>>>beacon were officially taken during Skylab 2 on Sept 4, 1973,
>>>which does not correspond with when they reported photographing
>>>the odd object. One point of interest is that an interview of
>>>the crew regarding the laser experiment showed that they used
>>>the 300mm lens for it, so there seems to be a good likelihood
>>>they kept the lens on for the subsequent "UFO" pictures.

>>Strange that they would attempt to photograph the red laser
>>while the earth was in sunshine. The red beam would have a lot
>>of light to compete with. The photo you mention does not look
>>like a red filtered image which would likely be used if one were
>>to try to detect a red laser beam against a bright background. I
>>could imagine them trying the Goddard laser experiment when the
>>earth surface was dark. Then they wouldn't need a red filter.
>>But then there would also be no image of the surface such as we
>>see in 2137.

>All I know about this is the description of the scene in the
>photo index and the laser experiment.

>"Evaluation of SKYLAB Earth LASER Beacon Imagery"

>"Experiment Debrief"

>"Bean: The laser was the only thing that I saw during the
>mission that had a neon-light look to it... This actually
>radiated like a neon light that's on in the daytime outside. It
>has a brilliance to it."

I looked up the tinyurl.com/yw4pym and found the report you were
reading. Now I know what that experiment was all about. And
guess what: during the Skylab 3 they used only the argon-ion
laser which puts out 5145 A radiation which is - ta-dah -

Therefore my earlier comments about photographing a red laser
are moot. Also, the experiments were run during the daytime,
despite my "logic" that they would be run at night. The intent
was to determine whether or not a laser could act as a daytime
beacon or brightness calibration in the presence of sunlit
ground. They used powers up to 10 watts... which is quite

Garriott said he could see it during the first experiment but
not during the second. He said he took "some photographs" during
the first experiment. Was 2137 the second of these? If so I
would expect to see a green spot. But I don't.

Anyway, the lens the used for laser experiments was 300 mm with
f stop 4.8 - 8 and shutter time 1/125 to 1/500 sec. The film was
"like" Ektachrome MS 2448.

>Query: The second set of photos that we blew up we found
>on the filmstrip, but they didn't come out; they were
>underexposed. If I looked at the records correctly, they were
>approximately an f/4.5 and the others were approximately a f/8.
>They were also blurry so there might have been some movement
>although the shutter speed was 1/500 of a second."

Now that we know Garriott took "some photographs" during the
first sighting (2136 and 2137), then the question is, did anyone
take any photos during the second sighting? I think not. Then
the "second set of photos" mentioned above is actually 2138-2141
(the red object) which, they say, was underexposed.

I think that the photo analysts who were looking for laser
imagery before talking to the astronauts, and without knowing
that the Garriott intentionally photographed a "red satellite",
mkght have through that there was a second set of photos
corresponding to the second laser observation experiment. If
this is what they thought it would have been natural for them to
assume that 2138-2141 were the second set of laser photos. But
if they so concluded (and I now think they did) they would have
immediately also concluded that the photos were severely
underexposed because there was no image of the earth and because
nothing showed up in the pictures (except the very tiny red dot
in the first three and a larger red "structure" in the fourth).
They probably wouldn't have spent much if any time trying to
understand how the red dot images could have occurred in
underexposed photos.


>"On Skylab 3, Astronauts Bean and Lousma confirmed the beacon
>size and shape manifested in the Skylab 3 imagery. They
>described the beacon as both a neon tube lying in the plane of
t>he earth and as a searchlight coming up through the atmosphere.
>Strangely, the photographs were taken by Scientist-Astronaut
>Garriott who did not verify the beacon size and shape, but
>described the beacon as only a dot."
>The second set were prior to the "UFO" set. I assume "neon"
>means red, but maybe not.

Yes. I read the report and understand what they were saying.

There are green colored "neon tubes" used in advertising signs,
etc. At any rate, the laser was green and the shape of the
source, looking like a line lying horizontally on the earth, is
a perspective effect: looking along a laser beam projected
roughly in your direction you see a line of light which gets
smaller as you look toward the laser beam source. The beam is a
result of laser light being scattered by particles in the
atmosphere. In the case of the astronauts at 270 miles altitude,
they would see the laser beam passing through the atmosphere
more than 200 miles below them and the beam would appear as a
short line where it passed through the atmosphere, being visible
by atmospheric scattering for maybe as much as 40-50 miles up.

Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast



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