Thanks for suggesting HEAVENSAT, Greg

Date: Tue Apr 28 2009 - 21:48:41 UTC

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    Hi Greg,
    As I may mentioned to some, I have been trying to develop visual astronomy  
    pursuits that are amenable to my light-polluted, usually poor  
    seeing/transparancy backyard site.  A former "Deep-sky Observer" with  particular 
    interests in supernovae searches and eruptive variable stars, I am  now observing 
    a gamut of stuff I generally overlooked (actually  underlooked/ignored) in 
    the past.  So far, I think satellites offer a  great way to apply and develop 
    astronomical skills.  Anyway...
    I use Orbitron to generate lists of potential targets that I can cull by  
    hand.  Then I use Cartes du Ciel to look at the Sky Chart for particular  
    passes.  Carte du Ciel doesn't generate predictions for USA 142  (25669) It 
    does give estimated magnitudes for lots of faint satellites but  I think those 
    are all with shorter periods.  When I need to, I resort to  ObsReduce.  
    My choice of software is primarily historical accident.  The  first 
    programs I could learn to meet my needs have shaped the way I try to plan  
    observing.  (A nice feature of Orbitron is sorting sats by period  etc.  I also like 
    the real-time Az/El and RA/DEC  data it gives in  chart format) But...
    You're right, I should try out HEAVENSAT.  Thanks for the  suggestion.  
    Historically, I've always enjoyed the preparation time  involved for 
    observing--great way to spend cloudy nights or days but I've found  planning for 
    satellites can be time-consuming.  I'm not fond of using a  laptop at the 
    telescope but since satellites have real-time constraints, I've  thought about the 
    advantage of doing "planning-on-the-fly."  HEAVENSAT  sounds like it's 
    well-suited for that. Sorry for the long-winded  thanks!
    Best regards,
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