Re: Your recommendations for impressive geosat clusters over North America

From: danwri-seesat@covad.net
Date: Mon Oct 11 2004 - 16:09:41 EDT

  • Next message: Leo Barhorst: "LB obs 2004-10-11"

    Hey! I *did* read the FAQ before-hand, and I faithfully posted a plain text 
    message (not HTML), but apparently the "encoding" was still "binary".  
    Looking at the message on the archives web page, it appears all messed up.  
    Sorry.  Hopefully this version will look better:
    
    Hello, I've just joined SeeSat-L.  I am excited to have discovered
    this great resource.  I am excited to be observing satellites!
    
    I became fascinated with geosats when observing M11 (the Wild Duck
    Cluster) with my 10" LX200-GPS at the Shingletown Star Party in
    Lassen Volcanic Park in northern California (40 degrees N latitude).
    My scope was tracking and I saw several geosats fly right through
    M11.  40 deg N is just the right latitude for geosats to appear
    within M11.
    
    When an cluster of 3 geosats appeared, and I turned off the tracking
    motors, and the sats froze in view as M11 drifted off and the stars
    wheeled through.  The three birds appeared to be sailing through
    fields of stars.  It was endlessly fascinating to watch.  I shared
    the view with many people at the star party.  Everyone agreed it was
    a rare sight. The motion in the eyepiece is what makes these
    observations so exciting, compared to regular observations of M
    objects or galaxies.  But I found this cluster of geosats by
    accident, and I didn't have the expertise to identify them.
    
    Today is Monday (Oct.11) and on Wednesday I am leaving on a 5-day
    astro camping trip and star party (Calstar2004
    www201.pair.com/resource/calstar).  I want to show some impressive
    clusters of geosats, and perhaps some flashers.  I have just started
    sat observing and I am not familiar with the geosats over North
    America, so I don't know which ones to look at.
    
    I already downloaded the geosat TLE's from celestrak.com, and when I
    set up my scope at the star party, I can use Dr. T.S. Kelso's great
    Pascal program TRACKSTAR on my laptop to get the alt/az for a
    particular geosat, then I can tell my LX200 to GOTO the alt/az.
    
    I want your advice and recommendations for clusters of geosats over
    Northern California -- the ones that would be the best "eye candy".
    Is it possible to get  5 or more in the same field of view?  That
    would be great.  And flashers -- can you recommend some that would
    appear best for this weekend over California?  Thanks, and I promise
    to post an observing report after the trip.
    
    With friendly regard from Dan Wright in Palo Alto, California
    
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