FAQ Lab Assignment? (from "Bright new tumbler ...")

CmdrJaycee@aol.com
Fri, 6 Sep 1996 10:34:28 -0400

On Sept. 5 [Subject:  Bright new tumbler (for newbies, too)], Walter Nissen,
in replying to Robert Sheaffer's comment that Cosmos 2322 r, which he had
recently happened upon, would be a prime Top 10 list selection, wrote:

>Indeed.

Indeed, yourself, Walter (;-) - you already had it listed among your own
selection of Top 10 candidates posted on July 2nd 1996, when you replied to
my question about your own person favorites. I've been observing Cosmos 2322
r ever since - thanks to you (and a few others).

In fact, for those fellow newbies out there who do star gazing or public
programs, in particular, I have found both Cosmos 2322 r and it's
slower-flashing cousin, Resurs 1-3 r (included on both of Walter's July 2nd
and Sept. 5th lists), to be among the sure fire show stoppers, guaranteed to
get a crowd buzzing (even some aloof, veteran amateur astronomers I know who
had dismissed satellite observing as "uninteresting" were taken by them).
 These have been both easy naked eye objects, very dependable performers even
from very urban locations. (For example, I see even Geoff Chester includes
them both in his Bright Satellites over Washington DC web page.)

I mentioned in a previous note that I had been using Walter's July 2nd list
as sort of an ongoing "homework assignment," in giving me some organized
framework in getting more active in satellite observing.  Two months into
that, now, I think the experience has been one of the most helpful things a
newbie, such as myself (I still figure I qualify) can start off with.  So, I
have a suggestion.

While this may be more appropriate to Usesat and those putting the FAQ
together, I think it might be helpful (and fun) to offer newcomers a list of
20 or so satellites, such as Walter's July 2nd list (copied, below), to try
to observe in starting out. 

This would be different than the Brightest Satellites FAQ list in that it
could include binocular objects as well as prominent flashers of various
periods (such as Cosmos 2322 r vs, say, MOS 1's 20 second disappearances),
maybe a few particularly historic objects, perhaps a sampling of different
categories of satellites, and any other satellites of note (such as TiPS,
EGP, the NOSS triangles, etc.).  

In other words, if we think of the FAQ as sort of an instructor's lesson
notes for a semester long 3 or 4-credit class on Visual Satellite Observing -
this list of satellites might be the lab assignment.  Just a suggestion.

- Jim Cook (CmdrJaycee)

[For the record, with apologies in advance to Walter Nissen, since some of it
is now out of date, here is his  July 2nd, referred to above:
  
Mir 
shuttles 
 23931 
15.52 EORSATs 
 23596 
 23748 
Lacrosse 1 
Lacrosse 2 
UARS 
Resurs 1-3 r 
HST 
GRO 
C* 1220 
Lacrosse 2 r 
KH 11's & 12's 
 19625 
 22251 
 23728 
SeaSat 1 
14.13 Zenit-2's 
 16182* 
 17590 
 17974 
 19120 
 19650 
 20625 
 22220 
 22285 
 22566 
 22803 
 23088 
 23405 
 23705 
EGP = Ajisai 
C* 1093 
C* 1703 
C* 925 
C* 1933 
C* 1953 
SROSS-C2 
DMSP F3 
NOSS 2-n's 
 20682 
 21799 
 96294 
USA 32 and 81]