RE: What to observe?

From: Chris Peat (chris.peat@heavens-above.com)
Date: Fri Aug 04 2000 - 00:31:43 PDT

  • Next message: Ed Cannon: "Re: What to observe?"

    I've been following the recent thread about observation reports and 
    priority lists of satellites needing observations, and thought this 
    is a good moment to tell the list that at Heavens-Above we are setting 
    up a database which can be used to;
    
    - enter observations using a web page interface
    - list the observations in the database based on selection criteria 
      such as object ID, observer and date range
    - perform on-line elset generation using these observations as input
    
    We realise that some observers will not want to use this system as
    well as posting the obs to SeeSat, and so
    we also intend to have pages which can be used to parse observations 
    in other commonly used formats such as Russel Eberst's, IOD etc. This 
    will allow posted obs. reports to be pasted directly into a text 
    window on a web form and the server will then extract the data into 
    the database when the form is submitted. The obs. entry forms will have 
    the additional benefit that the observations can be immediately 
    checked for obvious errors by comparing the observation with what
    would be expected from the existing elset for that object. There are
    many occasions when observers post corrections to observations, and
    this system should avoid this necessity by catching errors before
    they end up in the database. If any observer doesn't want his or
    her observations put in the database, we will, of course, respect that
    wish. 
    
    To use the full capability of the system (i.e. to be able to enter
    observations) you will need to apply obtain a userid and password
    in a similar manner to OIG, and also specify your latitude, longitude
    and altitude. Anonymous visitors will still be able to search the 
    database, list observations and generate elsets.
    
    I wanted to get this system running a few months back, but other
    projects have prevented this, but after I get back from my holidays
    at the beginning of September, I will make a determined effort to
    get it running. 
    
    I am also considering a more general observations bulletin
    board, where users could enter more "wordy" descriptions of
    observations which would also be cataloged by object and
    observer and could be searched by others.
    
    I welcome feedback and will make the obs entry forms etc. 
    available for review before they are finalised - I am not
    an experienced observer, and so am counting on suggestions for 
    improvements from those who are.
    
    Bye for now,
    Chris
    
    Chris Peat, Heavens-Above GmbH
    E-mail: Chris.Peat@heavens-above.com
    Web site: www.heavens-above.com 
    
    
    
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