Edmund Scientific Satellite Telescope

From: Greg Roberts (grr@telkomsa.net)
Date: Tue Jan 23 2007 - 04:02:37 EST

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    Bruce MacDonald  posted the following:
    
    >I hope this is not considered off-topic as it does relate to visual
    >satellite observing, as done years ago.  I found the following thread on 
    >a
    >website forum and I thought SeeSat-L subscribers might be interested in 
    >it.
    
    >http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/1372126/page/0/view/collapsed/sb/5/o/all/fpart/1#Post1372126
    
    >Perhaps some veteran Moonwatch observers may even have used one in the 
    >early
    >days of the Space Race?
    
    Being a veteran Moonwatch observer - almost 50 years ago!! - I can say a 
    bit
    about this telescope. I actually had one for many years but lent it to a 
    youngster
    at the time and he disappeared with it. The optical quality was pretty 
    good for a
    2 inch objective and it had a nice big eyepiece. I think they were made by 
    Edmund
    Scientific from war surplus - there should still be a lot floating around 
    as some
    Moonwatch stations may have had a few dozen of them. They were cheaply 
    made
    and I guess "thrown" together to provide a telescope to meet the MOONWATCH
    specs for a suitable tracking telescope.
    
    Another "Moonwatch" telescope around that time was made by Unitron but a 
    lot
    more fancy and expensive- came on a small mount that one could put on a 
    table and
    had az/alt graduated circles.  The optical quality of the objective left 
    much to
    be desired - I remember tracking Explorer 19 with it - if memory serves me 
    correct this
    was a small balloon for air density measurements. Again this had a very 
    nice eyepiece.
    The Unitron was not supplied as part of a Moonwatch station- I purchased 
    mine
    provately and still have it, although a little the worse for wear!
    
    Still on the subject of MOONWATCH another instrument is use was the M8 
    elbow
    telescope- I think it came out of tanks originally? - again 2 inch 
    aperture and erfle
    eyepiece. I think this was issued to some Moonwatch teams as "standard" 
    equipment.
    I still have mine.
    
    Finally because the above telescopes could not track the Vanguard 
    satellites when at
    apogee, the so called Apogee telescope was issued to some MOONWATCH teams.
    This consisted of a 5 inch f/5 lens- I believe it was originally used on 
    large Naval
    warship guns ? - and an M8 attached to it, minus its 2 inch objective. 
    Magnification
    was around 20x and field of view about 2.25 degrees. The optical quality 
    of the 5 inch
    lens also left a little to be desired. I still have my Apogee telescope.
    
    Cheers
    Greg
    
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