Here are the predictions of ATV visibilities over Europe after launch based on a launch time of 23:47:38 UTC, 29-JUL-2014, (1:47:38 CEST, 30-JUL-2014).
The first flyover Europe – around 20 minutes after launch – will not be visible from Central Europe as ATV-5 (still attached to Ariane) will be in Earth’s shadow.
On the 2nd pass ATV will exit Earth’s shadow over the North Sea coast of the Netherlands at 3:42:30 CEST and move across Northern Germany and Southern Poland. The sky at the time is still quite dark and (clouds permitting) ATV and also the Ariane upper stage should be nicely visible. Observers right under the groundtrack should see ATV-5 pass directly overhead at the indicated times. Observers to the North of the groundtrack should see Georges Lemaîtres in a southern direction at those times and observers to the South should look toward the North. The further away you are from the groundtrack the lower in the sky ATV-5 will appear. (As an example, observers in Central Germany would see ATV exit shadow at an elevation of 30° in the North-West and reach a maximum elevation of 46° in the North at 3:43:20 CEST, then pass close by the star Capella at 3:44:00
On its third European pass the groundtrack of ATV will move from Southwest England toward Austria from 5:14:30 CEST to 5:18:00 CEST (30-JUL-2014). The Ariane upper
stage will no longer be present. In England and the French coast the sky should be
sufficiently dark it will be just the beginning of civil twilight in Central Europe (where the ATV would pass at a maximum elevation of 65°) and it’s sunrise beyond Austria so observation of the ATV will require very clear sky conditions.
Let’s hope for an on-time launch!