Re: checking out list

Date: Wed Jun 08 2011 - 01:45:12 UTC

  • Next message: Thomas Goodey: "Re: checking out list"

    I'm not so sure we should go down this road.
    If we enforce "science" over "pretty pictures" for high res imaging,  
    then logically we also must enforce position measurements and  
    calibrated intensity curves over "I saw Intelsat 1R flashing".
    I appreciate posts by people like Mr. Fetter. Quoting him below:
    > "The sky was clear, and just before Nanosail D passed, the clouds rolled in.
    > Observed a few bright flashes, at around 23:24 utc
    > That's all I have to report, no video of pass will be available,  
    > since the view was wrecked.
    > Kevin"
    I see nothing wrong with the above as part of the list. It's largely  
    qualitative, gives time only approximately (1 minute time resolution;  
    no observing location given, though some may already know where he  
    I, and probably others, generally enjoy reading this kind of thing.  
    When I don't want to read that type of message I just ignore it. The  
    magic of self-regulation. I can ignore what I don't want to read.
    If the qualitative aspect of this list goes away, so I expect will a  
    significant number of observers. The more we exclude everything except  
    the raw science, the more this list will begin to sound like an old  
    Soviet numbers station (  
    If that's the way it goes, so be it. But it's not for me.
    PS: I think there should be a meta-list set up for discussion about  
    the list itself. I recall Ted once set up a Columbia list specifically  
    for discussing (arguing?) about aspects of that event. Perhaps we  
    could re-purpose it?
    On Tue, Jun 7, 2011 at 8:58 PM, Denise Moser <> wrote:
    > There is a long standing tension in astronomy, in particular,
    > astrophotography, between "pretty pictures" and "doing science". I
    > appreciate them both. There is a place for both.  And there are places where
    > they intersect.
    > When they intersect in this place, the "doing science" rules obviously take
    > precedence. Part of "doing science" involves standards: reporting that is
    > efficient, understandable and replicable.  Or none of us can learn and
    > participate more.
    > The rules for high resolution data will evolve as participants help develop
    > improved techniques and best practice, including reporting standards. This
    > will improve interpretation and meaning for the claims and purportations of
    > the posters so those of us less knowledgeable and skilled can better
    > understand what it is we are reading and seeing.  And maybe try some it of
    > ourselves.
    > And thanks to Ted for keeping this list both spam free and on target for
    > its
    > Denise
    > Kansas City, Mo.
    > On Tue, Jun 7, 2011 at 7:32 PM, Thomas Goodey <>wrote:
    >> On 7 Jun 2011 at 17:08, Derek C Breit wrote:
    >> > Science is the goal
    >> At the risk of seeming pedantic, I don't think this activity of
    >> observing and photographing satellites is really science, because it
    >> does not consist of discovering new truths about the natural world,
    >> but rather of observing and analyzing man-made objects. However the
    >> desire for accuracy and for avoiding self-deception is the same as
    >> the basic sine-qua-non of good science. Thus there is a lot in
    >> common.
    >> Thomas Goodey
    >> ************************************
    >> In the beginning God created
    >> Man. Dissatisfied on inspection
    >> of His creature, He exclaimed
    >> "No, I can do better than that!"
    >> Whereupon He created Woman.
    >>                          Robert Heinlein
    >> *************************************
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