Re: sat obs & telescope

From: Ron Lee (ronlee@pcisys.net)
Date: Sat Aug 05 2000 - 10:32:44 PDT

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    I consider this on topic since it is a form of visual
    satellite observation.
    
    I use a 1980 vintage Celestron 8". I typically use a 
    40 or 25 mm eyepiece although if the conditions are ok
    I might use a 17 mm or so for slow movinf faint objects.
    
    I do use a computerized setting circles (Astromaster)
    and that really helps when the point I want to observe
    is not easily found by star-hopping.
    
    I can usually see 11th magnitude and sometimes 12 or lower
    with my 8".  Bigger telescopes will go fainter.
    
    I am giving "some" thought to the newer scopes that slew
    to objects and can be controlled via computer.  That
    probably has limited use to obtain positions since I like
    to set up where I can get good stars and wait until the satellite
    passes through the field of view.  In that case, a Dobsonian
    would be fine as long as you can star-hop.
    
    What I really need is a 12" or larger; computerized with CCD
    capability.  But reality is such that I don't.  I have seen 
    many geosynchs, one Molniya at apogee and Chandra at a range
    of almost 116,000 km.  Ease of use should be considered as well.
    It is easy to take the 8" outside, setup, align the Astromaster
    and use.  Much larger and it would not be portable.
    
    As far as suggestions, for a computerized unit look at the
    Meade and Celestron units.  
    
    Ron Lee
    
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