Re: Accurate Time - A very important other issue..

From: Denise Moser (
Date: Sun Feb 13 2011 - 19:26:09 UTC

  • Next message: Paul Grace: "RE: Accurate Time - A very important other issue.."

    Well put.
    I am pretty much an occasional satellite seeker and a maybe/wannabe
    But  I have been perseverating, obsessing, and fretting over timing. My
    desire for video and the much sought-after, unavailable KIWI device is
    getting in the way of enjoying observing. And I've let it keep me from DOING
    or accomplishing anything.
    There are folks here who report a dozen observations regularly with just
    their eyes (and maybe binocs) and a stopwatch, the old fashioned and
    "time"-tested method. That's a pretty good role model.
    So, now as the weather warms, I am back to simply working on the Astroleague
    Earth Orbiting Satellite Observers Club, for which my atomic desk clock is
    sufficient. ( I might get the recorded  WWV routine down soon, but it often
    doesn't come through or the barking dog covers over it).  When I get that
    experience under my belt, I'll see what's next.  Thanks, Derek, for some
    clarity for myself.
    On Sun, Feb 13, 2011 at 12:16 PM, Derek C Breit <
    > wrote:
    > There is another important issue about "accurate time" that is just as
    > important here with satellites as it is with occultations..
    > Do the best you can and use what you have, but strive to be accurate and to
    > do what is possible to improve that accuracy, i.e. you might have to buy
    > more equipment.. (Not a new concept in anything Astronomy..)
    > One thing we (ok I) do not want to do is inadvertently talk someone out of
    > observing. "I can't do that because I don't have the right equipment." Of
    > course you can! What you can't do is observe with a stopwatch and
    > binoculars
    > and claim an accuracy of 0.01s, but you can acquire a bunch of points on
    > any
    > given pass accurate to +/- 0.3s.
    > Observe with the equipment you have and do the best you can. The trick is
    > solely to not overstate your accuracy. It is my belief that simply always
    > including a message about the method used to acquire the data allows those
    > who manipulate the data to make a determination as to the accuracy,
    > regardless of the stated accuracy from the observer. Simple statements like
    > "I used a stopwatch set to my computer clock", "I used the phone to get
    > time", or "I recorded WWV time ticks on the audio track of the video". All
    > of these carry an inherent level of accuracy to absolute time that those
    > who
    > generate elsets from the observations would know from experience.
    > Respectively submitted for discussion..
    > Derek
    > _______________________________________________
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