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Project Moonwatch

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#276 DreamWeaver

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 09:06 PM

...

Can't even imagine something like that happening today again. 

...

Ther would be an app for that. wink.gif


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#277 Chuck Hards

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 08:59 AM

I don't know, I think the Seti@home program is a similar type of thing, surely there must be other analogies.  


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#278 terraclarke

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 10:37 AM

Ther would be an app for that. wink.gif

 

There are lots of satellite tracking programs out there. I know of a lot of ham radio enthusiasts that ‘listen’ to them going over and pick up broadcast images with a board in the computer. I did that for a while. It was fun. Tho it isn’t contributing to a global scientific research project like Moonwatch did, it still involves amateurs keeping tabs on satellite crossings.


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#279 Mr. Bill

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 12:03 PM

Well, there never be another Project Moonwatch....it was a snapshot in time.....as they say "the good old days"

 

cool.gif


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#280 terraclarke

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 12:21 PM

Well, there never be another Project Moonwatch....it was a snapshot in time.....as they say "the good old days"

 

cool.gif

True! Nothing like living under the threat of immanent nuclear annihilation to make one appreciate the little things in life. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, we’re doing that again these days! ;) :roflmao:


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#281 Chuck Hards

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 12:41 PM

Don't astronomy clubs go out for meteor counts, during showers?  That used to be an interesting group activity with some semblance of science behind it.   

 

Occultation timing can involve many observers spaced along a line perpendicular to the ground track.  This allows an actual silhouette of the asteroid to be calculated.

 

Remember that the end user for the Moonwatch data wasn't Dr. Whipple at the S.A.O. or a bunch of earth scientists or astronomers.  It was the military.  The program was conceived as part of IGY, and sounded like it was a noble scientific effort, but the entire purpose was so our military would know where satellites were at any given time.  


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#282 Mr. Bill

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 12:59 PM

Had to keep track of those pesky Russians...and now Chinese



#283 terraclarke

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 01:43 PM

Had to keep track of those pesky Russians...and now Chinese

Wouldn’t you like to change that sentence to the present tense? ;)


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#284 terraclarke

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 09:07 AM

Another interesting Project Moonwatch recollection you wouldn’t want to miss can be read here:

 

https://www.cloudyni...tron/?p=8871178



#285 John Rogers

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Posted 19 November 2018 - 09:25 PM

19571012_Baker-Nunn_Moonwatch.jpg

 

I keep looking for one of these Moonwatch telescopes to pop up on eBay or ShopGoodwill.com, but no luck so far.

 

John Rogers


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#286 clamchip

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Posted 19 November 2018 - 10:14 PM

That looks like a Baker-Nunn camera

http://bollerandchivens.com/?p=561


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#287 Chuck Hards

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Posted 20 November 2018 - 08:26 AM

It is a Baker-Nunn.  These were not ready in time for Sputnik, and even after they were brought online, the Moonwatch teams supplied data to tell the camera teams where to aim.

 

Remember it is a camera, not a telescope.  Can't be used visually and the film they were designed to use isn't made anymore.  I'm pretty sure a few of them still exist.


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#288 davidmcgo

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Posted 20 November 2018 - 12:10 PM

Evergreen Air and Space Museum in Eugene Oregon had one on display a few years back when I visited.  Amazing place if you ever get a chance to go.

 

Dave


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#289 clamchip

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Posted 23 November 2018 - 11:07 AM

Here's a little more on the Baker-Nunn cameras:

https://bollerandchi...m/?page_id=1455

 

Robert


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#290 starman876

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 09:21 AM

Just why were they so worried about where these satellites were?  



#291 clamchip

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 12:42 PM

The satellites gave us valuable information on Earths upper atmosphere such as

drag on their orbits and radio signal propagation.

The worry they may be a weapon, we didn't know what they were in the beginning

and best to keep track of them.

 

Robert


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#292 terraclarke

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 02:14 PM

The satellites gave us valuable information on Earths upper atmosphere such as

drag on their orbits and radio signal propagation.

The worry they may be a weapon, we didn't know what they were in the beginning

and best to keep track of them.

 

Robert

Or that they were keeping an eye on us. Also, tracking them yielded valuable geophysical date to determine the exact shape and distribution of mass of the Earth (the geoid).


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#293 starman876

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 02:33 PM

However, the program lasted until 1975.  I guess modern radar took over where the thousands of people that were tracking through their little scopes.


Edited by starman876, 24 November 2018 - 02:42 PM.


#294 davidmcgo

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 02:40 PM

This pretty much obsoleted Moonwatch:

 

https://en.m.wikiped...eillance_System

 

Originally was Navy and first went online around 1959.

 

Dave



#295 John Rogers

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 03:21 PM

However, the program lasted until 1975.  I guess modern radar took over where the thousands of people that were tracking through their little scopes.

The handful of people that track them through their telescopes today are actually considered national security threats.  How is that for irony?!

 

John Rogers



#296 JamesMStephens

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 03:39 PM

Or that they were keeping an eye on us. Also, tracking them yielded valuable geophysical date to determine the exact shape and distribution of mass of the Earth (the geoid).

 

 

For a review of this and the research results on the Earth's atmosphere based upon the early days of artificial satellites see Desmond King-Hele https://www.amazon.c...wt_bibl_vppi_i4



#297 terraclarke

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 03:44 PM

For a review of this and the research results on the Earth's atmosphere based upon the early days of artificial satellites see Desmond King-Hele https://www.amazon.c...wt_bibl_vppi_i4

Looks like a facinating book!


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#298 JamesMStephens

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 09:43 PM

Looks like a facinating book!

There's also this one:  https://www.amazon.c...e/dp/B0000CKGMN

 

This old book goes into interesting detail on the analysis of the orbits of the early satellites.



#299 terraclarke

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 11:03 PM

I would like that one! I love astronomy books of that period. Thanks James. :)


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#300 John Rogers

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 12:44 PM

1956_Dec_S&T_Insert_Moonwatch.jpg

 

For what its worth, I found this insert tucked away in the December 1956 Sky and Telescope magazine.

 

John Rogers


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