What a Coincidence!


I was just perusing the night sky using Night Sky (because it’s too cloudy to see the stars) and found three interesting facts:

  • 1) There are already in orbit at least two vehicles destined to one day become commercial Space Explorer venues.
  • 2) That you can see the Southern Cross directly off the due southern horizon (if the clouds weren’t there) probably with good binoculars or a telescope.
  • 3) Right below the Southern Cross, there is a celestial object named Atlas Centaur 2 R/B. R/B means “rocket body”. I know this because a while ago I discovered that if you click twice on the little satellite icons, you get the name of whatever you clicked on.
  • The coincidence is that this particular rocket body was launched from the US on November 27, 1963 and was a prototype launch vehicle used to test performance and integrity. It is instrumented with 2000 pounds of “stuff” and is classified as “space junk”. Further examination revealed two additional rocket bodies hovering in the same exact corner of space, due south; all headed up into our night sky!

    A day or so ago we had a poolside discussion about how space junk scheduled to reenter the atmosphere that night would generate thousands of shooting stars. We vowed to rendezvous in the middle of the night. Glad I slept in because it turned out to be a dud. But I am wondering if maybe tonite’s the night? There’s a bunch still up there! Go away clouds!

    The second coincidence is that my father, an Air Force officer, used an Atlas Centaur launch vehicle from 1967 to 1972 to get his top-secret, military payloads into space.

    Hope you had a good Memorial Day!

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    2 Responses to What a Coincidence!

    1. sandy says:

      The Southern Cross??? its gotta be really low in the sky and really faint (?). But amazed you can see it. Let me know if it clears up and you can see it. I mean it really wasn’t to exciting to see in Australia, but still …

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    2. BJ Billingham says:

      You are just the bestest…….take care……big hug, bj

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