RE: Suitable sats for training?

From: Ted Molczan (
Date: Wed Dec 17 2003 - 20:20:09 EST

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    Bruce MacDonald wrote:
    > I now also own a copy of Desmond 
    > King-Hele's book "Observing Earth Satellites" which is a 
    > cracking book.
    Excellent book. I used it to teach myself positional observation.
    > What I don't have is the experience to begin using this equipment.
    > Please would some of our more illustrious members suggest 
    > some suitable sats for practising positional observations?  I 
    > only need a few suggestions.
    Almost any satellite you can see will do, and the one you mentioned, USA 144,
    may be good for practice because it moves slowly, making it easier to anticipate
    its passage between/near suitable reference stars.
    The only problem with USA 144 is that it often is too faint to see easily with
    7x50 binocs, especially since it rotates slowly, with long, faint minima. Have
    you been able to see and track it? If not, then I will be pleased to suggest
    some more suitable targets.
    If you can describe your efforts to-date, and describe your problems, then we
    can offer suggestions.
    This could be an opportunity for others who might be interested to follow along
    and learn the basics. But if you prefer private consultation, that is okay too.
    Ted Molczan
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