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Charlie HeinAdministrator
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Reged: 11/02/03

Loc: 26.06.08N, +80.23.08W
Satellite Spotting 101: Software and Basic Gear.
      #6043424 - 08/24/13 11:38 AM

Satellite Spotting 101: Software and Basic Gear.

By Obin Robinson


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PhaedrusUpshaw
super member
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Reged: 04/21/12

Loc: Southwestern Indiana
Re: Satellite Spotting 101: Software and Basic Gear. new [Re: Charlie Hein]
      #6043959 - 08/24/13 05:16 PM

Great article Obin, I started spotting satellites about a week after I got my first scope, a 10 inch Dob and have found it rather addictive. I am looking forward to you posting more articles about this fascinating aspect of astronomy. Clear skies to all and of course, "Keep looking up!"
Bill


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obin robinson
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/25/12

Loc: League City, TX
Re: Satellite Spotting 101: Software and Basic Gear. new [Re: PhaedrusUpshaw]
      #6044114 - 08/24/13 07:27 PM

Thanks! I am glad you enjoy spotting satellites as much as I do. It is a nice way to pass the time indeed. In the future I will write more articles highlighting my favorites as well as satellites which will be decaying and re entering the atmosphere. Further into the future I will highlight gear used to photograph them.

I am glad you enjoyed the article. Clear skies to you!

Obin


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AstroTatDad
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 04/22/13

Loc: Los Angeles - San Diego
Re: Satellite Spotting 101: Software and Basic Gear. new [Re: obin robinson]
      #6044595 - 08/25/13 02:22 AM

Way to go Obin

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astrophile
super member


Reged: 06/30/13

Loc: Chaise-lounge, 18x50s in hand
Re: Satellite Spotting 101: Software and Basic Gear. new [Re: AstroTatDad]
      #6047990 - 08/26/13 11:49 PM

Interesting article, thanks! Looking forward to next installments.

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csvella
member


Reged: 09/12/11

Re: Satellite Spotting 101: Software and Basic Gear. new [Re: astrophile]
      #6049642 - 08/27/13 08:42 PM

Thoroughly enjoyed your article as well. Seeing Iridium flares way back sparked an interest for me as well- leading to a hobby and career. I too look forward to your future installments!

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obin robinson
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/25/12

Loc: League City, TX
Re: Satellite Spotting 101: Software and Basic Gear. new [Re: csvella]
      #6050466 - 08/28/13 11:07 AM

Thanks for the great feedback everyone! The next installments are going to deal with narrowing down your viewing and finding your favorites. There is also some nice custom satellite tracking software in the works (not from me but from others) and it will make viewing easier. I have lots of new articles planned but I want to give people a chance to try out the software I suggested as well as develop a knack for tracking satellites.

One thing I did last night for example is view most of the satellites through a 9mm eyepiece. I tracked them all in the ST-80 on the camera tripod easily. The flare off of the ISS was so bright last night that I wish I had a moon filter handy! It was at least -8 if not brighter!

Stay tuned and clear skies to everyone!

obin


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A. Viegas
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 03/05/12

Loc: New York City/ CT
Re: Satellite Spotting 101: Software and Basic Gear. new [Re: obin robinson]
      #6051613 - 08/28/13 10:32 PM

Obin,

Is it possible to track the satellite with a GOTO mount? I do not own a small tripod setup like a versa mount, so is it possible? are any satellites in higher orbits that have slower rates of motion that you can use the slewing speeds on your mount to follow across the sky??



Al


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obin robinson
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/25/12

Loc: League City, TX
Re: Satellite Spotting 101: Software and Basic Gear. new [Re: A. Viegas]
      #6051645 - 08/28/13 10:55 PM

Al,

It is possible and some mounts like the LX200 even have dedicated satellite tracking software available for them. I have tracked satellites using my lxd55 and my ds2000. The medium slew speeds were adequate. I will cover this in another upcoming article.

obin


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rtomw77
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Reged: 10/06/04

Loc: Deer Valley, AZ
Re: Satellite Spotting 101: Software and Basic Gear. new [Re: obin robinson]
      #6051936 - 08/29/13 04:55 AM

Obin,

Thanks for the nice article. I've been using Heavens Above for years, and your post will help me expand in this area.

Looking forward to more,

Tom


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TG
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/02/06

Loc: Latitude 47
Re: Satellite Spotting 101: Software and Basic Gear. new [Re: rtomw77]
      #6065126 - 09/05/13 08:12 PM

Interesting, useful *and* well written, which is a rarity nowadays in the era of text messaging.

Regards,

Tanveer


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Muffin
member


Reged: 09/27/13

Loc: Pinelands-near Cape Town,South...
Re: Satellite Spotting 101: Software and Basic Gear. new [Re: TG]
      #6105274 - 09/28/13 03:06 AM Attachment (20 downloads)

Good morning - nice to see there is some interest in satellite spotting- a hobby that has kept me busy since I first observed Sputnik 1 rocket some 56 years ago. I am still very active, primarily doing positional work on classified satellites so that the orbits may be derived and concentrating mainly on high altitude (> 300000 km) objects. I attach a few photographs taken with some of my equipment. Best wishes, Greg

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Muffin
member


Reged: 09/27/13

Loc: Pinelands-near Cape Town,South...
Re: Satellite Spotting 101: Software and Basic Gear. new [Re: Muffin]
      #6105279 - 09/28/13 03:08 AM Attachment (17 downloads)

The picture shows one of the telescopes used - a SKYWATCHER 4 inch f/5 refractor with FLI8300M CCD camera mounted on a homemade GOTO mount which can automatically track any satellite from my control room some 50-60 feet away.

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Muffin
member


Reged: 09/27/13

Loc: Pinelands-near Cape Town,South...
Re: Satellite Spotting 101: Software and Basic Gear. new [Re: Muffin]
      #6105281 - 09/28/13 03:10 AM Attachment (18 downloads)

This picture of a leo sateillite waas done using the same set-up but telescope was a 135mm focal length f/2.8 lens with the FLI8300M CCD camera.

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Muffin
member


Reged: 09/27/13

Loc: Pinelands-near Cape Town,South...
Re: Satellite Spotting 101: Software and Basic Gear. new [Re: Muffin]
      #6105283 - 09/28/13 03:13 AM Attachment (18 downloads)

The image above shows several geostationary satellites visible from my location. Note there is one unknown which is probably a lost rocket in GTO orbit. The 4 inch refractor was used. Stars are trailed because system was stationary.

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Muffin
member


Reged: 09/27/13

Loc: Pinelands-near Cape Town,South...
Re: Satellite Spotting 101: Software and Basic Gear. new [Re: Muffin]
      #6105287 - 09/28/13 03:15 AM

Todays final position is an easy object - OTV3 which is a sort of mini unmanned "space shuttle". Best wishes, Greg

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