Re: Vanguard 1

Wed, 27 Aug 97 19:03:38 PDT

Well, I'm back online (I think) after a few days of an e-mail outage.

Congratulations to Patrick on the Vanguard 1 observation!  Yeehaw!

I've been lucky enough to see it twice using a 114mm (4.5 in) newtonian,
so even very humble equipment can drastically increase the number of
of objects you can potentially see.  I got the scope for $100 used
and it has allowed me to see many, many more objects than with
hand-held binoculars.  It's also portable, which is an important
consideration since I have to change observing spots in my backyard
quite often during night to dodge trees and neighbor's lights.  I
also need something that can fit in the back seat of my car when I
go to a dark sky site about once a month.

My scope is just one step up from department store junk, so for a very
minimal outlay you can open up a whole new world of objects to hunt down.
It never ceases to amaze me to see objects the .3 to 1 sq meter range
(about 3-10 sq ft) from distances between 1600 to 2400 km (about 1000
to 1500 miles).  It's the best $100 I've ever spent.

A few people have asked me privately about my observing technique.
I'm currently putting together some info to send them, and if anyone
is interested by all means let me know.

 Craig Cholar    3432P@VM1.CC.NPS.NAVY.MIL
 Marina, California
 36 41 10.3N,  121 48 17.9W    (36.6862, -121.8050)      UTC -7