Re: question about size of hobby

From: skywise (
Date: Fri Apr 15 2005 - 17:22:50 EDT

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    Bob Steinke wrote:
    > A while ago I sent out a question asking people about the size of the 
    > satellite watching hobby.  Here's a summary of the results.  I got 11 
    > responses.  The average number of times per year people go out observing 
    > is 70.  Although that seems to be split into two classes: people who go 
    > at least weekly, and people who go occasionally.  Only five of the 
    > respondents had ever traveled to see a specific event, and they had done 
    > so very few times.  There are still about 600 subscribers on the list.  
    > This would be consistent with a few tens of regulars and a few hundred 
    > lurkers.
    Here's some more data points.
    I've been mostly a lurker here since at least '99. Currently all I do
    is check Heavens-Above for exceptional passes of things like ISS, HST,
    etc... and Iridium flares. I've taken to trying to photograph the
    flares and some passes with my digital camera.
    I used to like to load McCants complete elset file and run my program
    in realtime mode, then try to bag as many sats as possible as they went
    overhead. I also used to enjoy trying to ID sats caught by accident
    while doing astro obs. But since it's impossible to *easily* download
    complete elset files I am now limited to just what Heavens- Above can
    do for me.
    I'm not devoted enough to jump through the flaming hoops of getting
    a SpaceTrack account and using programs to download the whole catalog
    just to ID that one mystery sat every couple months.
    I have to say, the whole thing with SpaceTrack has just about killed
    what active interest I had in this hobby. This is a perfect example of
    classic gov't thinking. F the little guy to gain a false sense of
    achievement while the real work is left undone.
    I still enjoy reading what everyone else accomplishes here on SeeSat,
    though. Keep up the good work!!!
    -- - Lasers, Seismology, Astronomy, Skepticism
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