Stardust Sample Return Capsule Observation Report (negative)

From the NASA Stardust Return website.

"If you live in the Northern California, Oregon, Washington, Northern Nevada, Southern Idaho or Western Utah  you should be able to see some part of this man made meteor. The closer you live to the trajectory, which runs from Crescent City, to Mt Shasta, Cal and then through Winnemucca and Elko Nev, and finally to Western Utah, the higher in the sky it will be."

This information prompted me to set up my photo tripod and Canon 350D camera with standard kit lens on a staircase near my appartment. The view was clear although severely light polluted from cities of Fremont and Hayward.

Here a prediction of the path of reentry with degrees of elevation lines drawn on a map of northern California.

Here a prediction of the path of the spacecraft as seen from San Jose. I live a few miles away but the general projection of the path should not change noticable.

I was watching from 1:50am on but didn't see anything. I started an exposure of 30sec. at 1:57:00. I did not see any track of the space craft from 1:50am to 2:00am. Below an exposure with the canon 350D digital SLR using the 17mm setting of the 17mm-55mm kit lens, ISO 400, F5.0, 30sec. Click on image for full size (1.3MB).


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