Re: Easier way of identifying unknowns...?

Bjoern (")
Wed, 19 Mar 1997 14:46:56 +0100

Ed Cannon ( wrote: 

>Regarding ways of identifying unknowns observed, I'll "stick my neck out"
>and venture to propose that for newbies (and perhaps others) who have Web
>access and a browser that can handle forms, one possibly easier way of
>identifying at least some unknowns after the fact may be the Earth Satellite
>Ephemeris Service (either of two USA sites): 
>I would suggest that everyone who intends to do regular observing would do
>well to get a program (Quicksat!) and (Molczan!) elements and learn to
>generate their own predictions, but ESES seems to me to be a quick and easy
>and reasonably accurate alternative for those who need or want it.


I'll stick my neck out and say that to use these text-only services and
programs, you really are demanding a lot from the newbies.

They must know how to translate their observation into coordinates, and
interpolate in the values they see on the PC, or obtain a star map and
know how to plot a track correctly.

Many of the unknown observation reports don't even mention if the
satellite "passed the Bowl of Big Dipper going left and down"

If they use SkyMap or some other graphic package, or someone on the
net produces a .gif image for them, all they need to do is to compare
the PC (or Mac!) screen with their visual recollection of the

Last week I got a ham operator/observer newbie started this way, with
only a .gif file, a sample .cfg file, and a program URL !

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