Quote:Say Satellite XYZ is said to be passing Vega at 9:00pm - just how close to Vega are these typical predictions? Can I "hang out" by a star waiting at 100x and then follow from there or do I need to spot it first in my finders 8x50 wide field?
Thanks in advance guys!!!
David W. Knisely . . . . . . "If you aren't having fun in this hobby, you aren't doing it right." Hyde Memorial Observatory http://www.hydeobservatory.info Prairie Astronomy Club http://www.prairieastronomyclub.org
4.5", 6", and 10" Newtonian astrographs.
2 ST80s; ED80; 3 CCD cameras; 5 EQ mounts: all polished, tuned, and modified.
The rule of telescope features: aperture; equatorial tracking; or low cost. Pick any two.
Quote:Morning ObinIf you follow classified satellites then you will know who I am - Im the observer in South Africa that you see posting to SeeSat from time to time - incidentally we dont have a classified satellite observer in South America and the one in Australia who observes fairly seldom. Afraid you have the technique wrong as regards aiming at the celestial pole - I think you meant celestial equator since this is where the geostationary and near geostationary satellites may be found. For leo sats one of course observes where ever the satellite will be in the sky. As regards plate solving software I use a very sophisticated program that is not in general use by western observers since it was designed for the ISON network ( International Satellite Observing Network) for use with their systems - I have one of the CCD cameras used. As to accuracy of the amateur classified tracking network - depends to a great deal on how often the satellites are observed. Since we are spread pretty thin around the world some seasonal satellites might not be observed for sometimes months so time accuracy will be very poor - especially if the satellite should execute any orbit changes. Then we have the more "difficult" satellites in highly eccentric orbits and low inclinations that cannot be tracked by the US Radar fence stretching across the United States at about latitude 33 degrees N or so (NAVSPASUR) - any satellite with an inclination less than 33 degrees cannot pass through the fence, and with very low perigees - sometimes as low as 100 kms or so, the atmospheric drag plays havoc with predictions and then we have problems with lunar perturbations etc out at apogee -- all in all a fascinating hobby ! Cheers Greg Roberts Cospar station 0433 near Cape Town,South Africa.