Re: Help, about how to observe satellites for fun and science

From: Björn Gimle (b_gimle@algonet.se)
Date: Mon Jul 22 2002 - 00:32:38 EDT

  • Next message: Björn Gimle: "Re: Help, about how to observe satellites for fun and science"

    Mainly for fun (any visible satellite), Heavens Above can give you many kinds of
    info. Start by finding your location at
    http://www.heavens-above.com/countries.asp , then save the home page created to
    your Favourites. You can get lists of satellite passes, limited by predicted
    peak magnitude, with star charts; and Iridium night- or daytime flares.
    
    You can also find data and predictions on a specific satellite, if you know what
    is interesting (read more about satellites on SeeSat-L and the rest of www). You
    may want to concentrate on certain classes of satellites - purpose, design,
    country of origin... Save the interesting HA pages in Favourites also.
    
    For more science, read http://www.satobs.org/seesat/satintro.html and the SeeSat
    FAQ and find out in which areas you wish to contribute. You may want to observe
    average (synodic) brightness periods like the BWGS group, or more detailed
    optical characteristics.
    
    Or you may want to do positional observations. These are very important for
    classified objects (including their rockets and debris) and for some faint
    objects where  NASA OIG do not publish elsets frequently, and for objects near
    decay.
    
    My own interests are observations of objects whose elements are unknown or
    uncertain, and rotating satellites with occasional bright flashes. I use
    observations of my own, and others, to compute orbits, predict decays (hoping to
    see one eventually) and finding the rotation axis of objects to be able to
    predict where bright flashes can be seen, especially for nearly geostationary
    satellites I otherwise can't see with binoculars.
    
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