Re: Prediction software - Was: Morning observations - and some questions

Bjoern Gimle (
Tue, 30 Dec 1997 13:42:47 +0100

>I saw two unidentified satelites which were according to me brighter=20
>than mag. 4 and were not included in my GSOC predictions. Could=20
>someone please tell me what they are:
>Cape Town, South Africa (33.54S, 18.38E, GMT +2h) 30/12/1997
>1> Estimated mag. 3.7, reaching max. el. at 03:58 at 80 deg S,=20
>moving from W to E.=20
Could it be                  (Culmination)---                      Mag.CATNO
12/30/97  1:52:00 267=F8 61=F8   1:52:35 192=F8 83=F8   1:56:24 102=F8 10=F8=
   3.1 23834=20
GPS 2-25 r1      5.9  2.4  0.0  5.0
12/30/97  1:55:59 255=F8 25=F8   1:57:57 182=F8 62=F8   2:01:40  99=F8 10=F8=
   3.6 24323=20
GPS 2-27 r1      5.9  2.4  0.0  5.0

>2> Estimated mag. 3.6, reaching max. el. at 04:43 at 40 deg NE,=20
>moving from N to E. (04:42 - 04:44)

12/30/97  2:39:07   3=F8 10=F8   2:41:48  66=F8 29=F8   2:44:39 128=F8 10=F8=
   4.2 23907=20
NOSS 2-3 r       9.8  3.0  0.0  4.8

>*all times local time*
I chose UT for the text, local for the plots, available for download at
>And lastly - I have been looking quite long now for good satelite=20
>predicting software and I haven't exactly found what I needed yet.=20
>Are there any good programs out there and where can I find it?

Look at  the bottom of

> (What are you using?)
I occasionally use QuickSat, when I want to have volume visibility
 predictions, and/or send predictions to friends.

All other times I use Rob Matson's SkyMap (now 6.0)=20
Some of the prominent features are:

o All parameter settings on menus are saved in .cfg files. Even startup
  actions can be set, so runs can be completely automatic. You can have
  files for different situations/selections.

o Very accurate graphical prediction of satellite tracks, stars, deep space
  to any scale, and map features when viewed from high elevations.

o Star data base down to mag. +10/+11 with v6.0

o Graphical mode very useful for prediction - and for analysing=
  whether unID's or known.

o Text mode prediction also available.

o Up to ten elsets can be stored in .cfg - good passes can be selected and
  saved with Auto-Locate and Auto-Point.

o Unlimited size elset files can be searched and predicted, with filters for
  magnitude, range, perigee, altitude, culmination.

o Satellite transits over Sun and Moon can be Auto-Located.

o Your observations can be entered into a deepsky.txt-type file for matching
  with stars/tracks

o Publication quality stars, planets, Moon and satellite tracks in space
  over Earth map, viewed from space.

o Local terrain features can be added.

o Plot file can be copied to LaserJet4 and other compatible=
  and programs are available to print,zoom, change colours... on lots of
  printers, screen and PCX files.

o ...

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