Visual Satellite Observer's Home Page Description:
Visual Satellite Observer's Home Page provides
information for observing earth satellites.Keywords:
earth satellites, observing satellites,
satellites,elements, tles, satellite predictions, VSOHPBody:
Visual Satellite Observer's Home Page
Visual Satellite Observer's Home Page
From left to right the above images are: A Soyuz manned capsule.
Satellite captured on a long exposure photograph. The external tank
caught just after separation during the STS-2 shuttle mission.
If you have ever star-gazed shortly after sunset or before sunrise, you have probably noticed one or two "stars" sailing gracefully across the sky. These are Earth-orbiting satellites, visible due to the reflection of the Sun's light off their surfaces toward the observer. Hundreds of satellites are visible to the unaided eye; thousands are visible using binoculars and telescopes. Observing satellites has many enthusiasts around the world.
Amateur astronomers seeking new challenges, find that spotting faint, rapidly moving satellites, such as the tiny Vanguard 1 (America's second satellite), are comparable to spotting a distant galaxy. Tracking down a newly launched spy satellite in a secret orbit, tests analytical as well as observational skill. Observing the International Space Station transit the sun, moon or one of the planets, requires planning, perseverance, and often a bit of luck.
Positional observers precisely measure the time and position of satellites as they cross the sky. During the first 30 years of the space age, geophysicists used such hobbyist measurements alongside those of radars and telescopic cameras, to analyze small changes in satellite orbits - called perturbations - to reveal details of Earth's upper atmosphere and gravity field. Today, positional observers contribute to public knowledge by finding, tracking and publishing the orbits of satellites in secret orbits.
Flash observers, measure the period of rotation of spinning satellites, leading to a better understanding of the near Earth environment, especially its magnetic field.
Space enthusiasts find that satellite observation leads naturally into such diverse fields as orbital mechanics, computer programming, rocket propulsion, mathematics, physics, applications of satellites, and government space policy.
This web site provides information on all facets of visual satellite observation:
Introductory observing guide.
the Beginner's Observing Guide.
the Magnitude system of brightness.
identifying some Bright Satellites
Measuring the flash period.
Rotation and Flash period.
Theory of rotating satellitesA.
Why measure positions?
How to make measurements.
The First Satellite.
Motion Picture of Sputnik 1 Rocket from Baltimore on October 12, 1957
Centaur Rocket Boosters
the International Space Station.
ISS News Rumours
Iridium satellite flares.
Iridium Satellite Photos
Iridium Flare Photos (Part I)
Iridium Flare Photos (Part II)
Iridium Flare Photos (Part III)
the MIR Space Station.
MIR Space Station (continued)
MIR and Its Objectives.
the NEAR satellite Sun glint manoeuvre that was
scheduled for Jan 23, 1998 for the US A
the Optical Calibration Sphere Experiment (OCSE) satellite
decayed on March 5, 2001.
the Starshine project.
Shuttle-Mir co-operative programme.
the US Space Shuttle.
viewing predictions for the US Space Shuttle, ISS and
water dump observations
Could Columbia have been Imaged by a Keyhole?
STS 107 Mystery Object
NOSS Double and Triple Satellite Formations
with a telescope.
tethered Satellite TSS-1R.
Western Satellite Research Network (WSRN)
Programs for your PC
obtaining Orbital Elements Satellite Prediction Programs.
Description Of An Orbital Element Set
sci.astro.satellites.visual-observe news group is
created on Usenet
SeeSat-L (mailing list for visual
satellite observers) home page with search tool
WWW Archive of SeeSat-L
SeeSat-L Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
SeeSat-L Members Page
for Satellites from Belgium (BWGS) home page.
of the BWGS.
Photometric Periods of Artificial Satellites Database.
WWW resources for satellite observers.
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