As some of you here already knew, Japanese spacecraft HAYABUSA is returning to earth tonight on June 13
after seven years of unmanned operation in space, making loads of Japanese tweeps frenzied-- while JAXA tweeted just today
that, the final figure of HAYABUSA before the reentry can be observed in Maldives!
(and presumably only in Maldives, because HAYABUSA is supporsed to enter the shade of the earth soon afterwards and be burnt up in earth's atmosphere, separating the indispensable capsule.)
While JAXA and other international authorities along with Japanese media have scrambled to south Australia to capture the recovery of capsule, seemingly this final figure of the spacecraft will not be covered by any offcial media-- and thus I'm asking you to spread words to anyone in Maldiv before time running out, to witness HAYABUSA's return and if possible, to record its pic/film.
And here's the info for Maldivians: according to JAXA, HAYABUSA can be observed in Maldives on approx. 6:10 to 6:20 PM in southeast sky tonight,
and it will vertically cross the sky from above toward horizon; you will need telescope, binoculars or other observation devices to get clear view; it will enter the shade of the earth and become unobservable around 6:45 pm.
Detailed info is at: http://www.isas.jaxa.jp/e/topics/2010/hayabusa_obs3.shtml
BTW the news that Subaru Telescope in Hawaii captured the image of HAYABUSA before the reentry just came in minutes ago; I haven't check the picture yet but I'm so excited!
For those who don't know about HAYABUSA, here's the summary from BBC News:Japan Itokawa asteroid mission set for re-entry
And if you want to know what's the significance of this in short-- "unmanned little spacecraft equipped with minimal engine visited an asteroid AND is returning the earth, possibly with its sample". It's just--- HOW THEY DID IT!???