RE: Query

From: Ted Molczan (
Date: Fri Sep 30 2005 - 17:25:16 EDT

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    Patrick McCray asked:
    > I am working on a book abut Operation Moonwatch and am curious about 
    > satellite tracking today. Roughly, about how many people do 
    > you think are engaged in tracking satellites these days?
    Welcome to the list, Patrick.
    If by tracking, you mean making precise positional observations of satellite
    transits, then I estimate there are about 20 observers worldwide. I know 15
    observers who reported at least 100 such observations during a recent 12 month
    period, most of them via SeeSat-L.
    Six observers were from the U.K., four from the U.S.A.; one each from Canada,
    France, Italy, South Africa and Sweden. In total, they produced about 22,000
    observations. The U.K. observers contributed about 75 percent of all
    If by tracking, you mean all persons who observe satellites visually for any
    reason, then I estimate there are many thousands world-wide. Most are interested
    in the aesthetics of satellite observation. The following information may be
    helpful in gauging interest (stats on page hits were compiled in Dec 2004):
    The Visual Satellite Observer's Home Page provides detailed information about
    most aspects of the hobby, and receives in excess of 25,000 page hits per day:
    Chris Peat's Heavens-Above web site, provides accurate predictions of passes of
    most of the thousands of satellites in orbit, and receives about 80,000 page
    hits per day:
    About 600 observers from around the world share their observations and stay
    abreast of the latest developments via the SeeSat-L mailing list, which has been
    in operation for nearly 11 years:
    Ted Molczan
    Subscribe/Unsubscribe info, Frequently Asked Questions, SeeSat-L archive:

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