Re: neighbor sees his 1st flare

From: Robert Holdsworth (
Date: Fri Jun 20 2003 - 15:28:45 EDT

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    Sadly many people these days take the fact there are satellites up there for
    granted and do not know or even care that such things are visible so
    incidents like these are a great opportunity.
    I frequently observe flares from a location on Wellington waterfront as it
    is relatively close to work:  I can get there quickly afterwards when unable
    to get home in time to observe from there. (I reported some time ago on a
    near-simultaneous double flare which I sighted from the waterfront
    Many people walk by and don't see a thing but I am sure it is going to be
    necessary to explain why I am staring upwards while everyone else is going
    about their business lol.
    Hopefully if I do it may also result in some public interest and not an
    arrest for suspicious behavior :-)
    Incidentally there is some talk that our local observatory may relocate to
    about 1 km from my observing location.  Rather interesting because there is
    considerable glow from the city lights in the area though I find the
    location I use just gets away from it sufficiently for observation.
    The ISS also provides a good talking point for encouraging interest- my boss
    has seen it several times and is very impressed (not impressed enough for a
    pay rise lol.)    This has been useful also because his location has
    sometimes has better sightings than mine because of less clouds so we have
    been able to compare notes.
    Columbia (even though tragic and particularly heart-rending for me as I has
    watched much of the mission on NASA-TV as well as several observations) also
    provided an opportunity to "spread the word" and my boss also observed the
    shuttle on more than one occasion.
     I have tried to get my son in law and grandson to watch the ISS but seems
    they are having trouble as they have missed overhead passes-  I think their
    timing is out so the only way they are going to see it is for me to be there
    with them lol.  (As my grandson's best subject is maths and he takes an
    interest in science who knows what may result!)
     Launches and dockings are also useful as people can be encouraged to watch
    them on TV where broadcast or on NASA-TV- also more interesting than talking
    heads though when the talking head is from NASA it can be worthwhile!
    Robert Holdsworth
    New Zealand
    Home location 41.2610S, 174.9470E
    Wellington waterfront location referred to above 41.2861 S, 174.7790 E
    (nice spot to visit as well as reasonable for observing- check it out if you
    ever visit Wellington!)
    ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: "Robert Reeves" <>
    To: "SeeSat" <>
    Sent: Saturday, June 21, 2003 5:01 AM
    Subject: Re: neighbor sees his 1st flare
    > Tom,
    > An excellent example of how we amateurs are the first line ambassadors for
    > science and space.  It means a lot more to folks when a regular Joe can
    > them this stuff instead of a talking head on TV.  Thanks for sharing.
    > Robert Reeves            
    > 520 Rittiman Rd.         
    > San Antonio, Texas 78209    210-828-9036
    > USA                                     29.484  98.440  200 meters
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