RE: suggest a Geosat

From: Brad Young (
Date: Thu Mar 05 2009 - 14:06:08 UTC

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    Ed Cannon said:
    >Mike McCants' freeware DOS program highecl.exe 
    >Björn Gimle has an Excel spreadsheet for this:
    >Ted Molczan's Geolong program 
    All of these will certainly help, if you want predictions, but I think, as a
    first timer, it's easier to use method ** below
    >I have gone out without any predictions at all and just scanned the
    >identify some easy asterisms in just the right places
    ** this really is easier, although it is very difficult to find any suitable
    asterisms in eastern Sextans to search before shadow entry. It’s a lot
    easier in the fall, from our latitudes, IMO, with better, brighter field
    stars to search around.
    Björn Gimle said:
    >At the equinox, look about 10 degrees right (or left) of that point
    Just to clarify, 10 degrees right (west) before shadow entry, opposite after
    shadow exit. You want to try to see it near as you can to the shadow, but of
    course not as its being dimmed in the shadow. The prediction programs will
    help in this regard.
    >If you write down accurate times and positions, then you can identify them
    after the fact using Findsat 
    One thing, be sure and give Findsat a long search period (I use 180s, per
    Mike's advice) because the sat moves so slowly with regard to the sky.
    >I sure enjoy it more after the September equinox 
    MAN do I agree. Spring is plagued with poor weather and cruddy search
    >With a telescope, use your lowest power eyepiece to start with
    My only comment here is, once you get "locked in" to a good search field,
    medium power will allow you to see the sat "pass" stars (if you are not
    tracking stars, as with a Dobsonian telescope or binoculars). Last night, I
    just set my scope on a decent search field, and waited for the "star" that
    moved. Of course, the sat isn't moving, the stars are, due to our rotation.
    It really is easy once you've seen one or two and get a feel for what to
    look for.
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