Kurt Jonckheere (
Mon, 30 Oct 95 19:38:08 W. Europe Standard Time+0000

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My name is Kurt Jonckheere,

After a month Internet-less I'm back again.

Although I was already on the list last year, I didn't sent an introduction,
so here we go:

I was born in Ostend, Belgium in 1972 were I still live.

When I was 14 years old (1986), my mother showed me an article in a local
newspaper about a group of young people interested in astronomy named 
Quasar, they organised a sequence of 'lessons' in astronomy.
There I met Bart de Pontieu and others.

In 1987 Bart made his first contacts that lead to the set up of the Belgian
Working Group Satellites.  
So we tried to check the predictions of Bart's program and saw our first 
satellites.  This was the start of what is still going on now!  

Last weeks I had no access to Internet because a month ago I finished my
university studies.  Now I'm Civilian Engineer in Computing Sciences.
Internet was free for university students, now I have to pay for it...

When Bart moved to Germany, I became responsible for the Belgian part of
the Working Group.  

My main interest in satellites is making visual observations of flashers.
In the past I observed some geostationary sats (3 in one eyepiece) and 
tried to see a sat passing before the sun (no succes).  I'm also 
interested in observing meteors.

I find the DRA (Determination of Rotation Axis, see previous messages in 
the archive and some Flash issues at the Web-pages) very fascinating, and made
about 15 observations last months.  More about this within some days.

Two years ago I read "A tapestry of orbits" of Desmond King-Hele.  This book 
describes his life and the results of scientific measurements on satellites
from 1957 on.   Most of the text deals with orbital elements and all kind
of perturbations on them. It is written very fluently, you should read it, if you
want to know more about orbital elements.

So I became interested to compare orbital elements with flash periods, and
especially with accelerations.  This analysis shows that an acceleration is
mostly (not always) associated with changes in orbital elements.
At that time seesat wasn't there, so I didn't know that people ( like Mike
McCants) already knew a lot of it, but it remains interesting...

I usually observe with a 7 x 35.  Although the magnification isn't very 
great (so I cannot see the faintest sats), it is easy to handle because it
doesn't way a lot, so you can follow objects very long (DRA!).
The small magnification also helps to find sats that are a bit away of the
predictions.  This was important in the past, when using old elements and 
one had to search the NASA 'paper-mailings with orbital elements' and
typing these elements in a file.

I'm happy to be back... last days I saw MIR, but as I didn't know about
the debris, I didn't look for them, and saw nothing of them :-(, frustrating.


Kurt Jonckheere (