Hi all,

I observed the Mars Science Laboratory /Centaur upper stage at 2:15am
Brisbane time Sunday, some minutes after the avoidance manoeuvre and
thousands of kilometres above Australia. Haven't heard of any other
sightings yet other than Brisbane Planetarium staff. Weather was not
good in some areas.

The expanding plume was about a degree in length and easily seen with
the naked eye. Tracked from around Lepus and into Canis Major over
around half an hour.

My camera played up, but one of my staff, Duncan Waldron, saw it about
15 to 20 minutes after me and took some images and did a timelapse. By
the time he started watched it had faded from what I first saw, but
still easily seen.

I've made an album on our Brisbane Planetarium page on Facebook.


There is also a link to the timelapse on our wall or direct at:http://

You can see MSL itself, a dot of the Centaur and the plume from the
earlier burn.

It reminds in a way of when I observed the Apollo 10 TLI burn over
Queensland (the burn was in progress for that).

Mark Rigby
Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium
Brisbane, Australia