Sunday, February 27, 2011

NanoSail-D finally visible in Australian Evening Skies

The the Earth-orbiting Solar Sail NanoSail-D has finally moved into evening skies as seen from Australia. Generally NanoSail -D is quite faint, but (at least from Adelaide), there are quite bright passes on March 1 and 2. As well, NanoSail-D's highly reflective solar sail can catch the Sun's rays and the satellite appear to flare brilliantly. So it is well worth watching out for.

If you want to look for NanoSail-D, head over to Heavens Above where they have a dedicated link (next to the dedicated ISS link). Set up your local position and click on the link to find when you can see it. For CalSky, you have to click on the Satellites menu item, then click on Sat-Library, then search for NanoSail-D2. There are also predictions from Spaceweather.com

As well, don't forget the cometeition. NASA and Spaceweather.com are staging a photo contest.
Cash prizes ranging from $100 to $500 are being offered for best images of NanoSail-D submitted between now and the time the sail disintegrates. High-resolution telescopic images of the spacecraft, wide-angle shots of NanoSail-D soaring overhead, and lucky-shots of flares are all eligible.
Visit nanosail.org for details of the competition.

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