Re: Bright sat list / software

Sun, 15 Dec 1996 20:54:34 -0500 (EST)

On Sun, 15 Dec 1996, Robert Sheaffer wrote:
> Leo Barhorst
> > I've used for several years the predictionprogram of the Belgian Working Group 
> > Satellites SAT4.75 and it does the job very well.
> > In just a few minutes yuo get a prediction for all the satellites visible in the 
> > selected timeframe ordered in time of highest point in the sky.
> > Once you have created a file with your favorite satellites it can be updated fom the 
> > Molczan or Thompsonfiles at the same site.
> So, rather than *the program* telling me what satellites will be
> visible from my location, I have to tell *it* which ones I might
> want to observe.

I don't know what the problem is here.  I thought Leo did a good job in saying
that, exactly as you want, THE PROGRAM tells you what is visible.  Yes, you
should enter some limits such as time, elevation, brightness, etc., but you
don't have to.  You don't expect the program to know just what you want without 
any guidance, do you?   

> And if I forget any, it won't list them, no
> matter how bright they might be.

I don't understand this either.  What is there to forget? Once the sat is in
your list, it will always show up if brighter than your mag limit.  If dimmer,
or below your selected elevation, it won't show up.  Isn't that what you want?

> And as new satellites are launched, or old ones that
i couldn't > see before drift into view, I have to keep abreast of all these
> changes and update my 'favorite satellites' list, so that the
> program can "predict" what will be visible.

This is one thing that everyone has to do for him/her self.  No program is so
smart that it will know a new sat is launched and add it to its base list.  I
look at new launches and decide which I want to look for.  I don't expect
software to decide that for me.
Almost no sats are visible all the time.  They drift in/out of view.  That is
something the software accounts for. You don't have to keep abreast of those
changes or update lists for that.  The program does it for you.

> Given that we're working from a list of continuously-updated satellite
> elements that are presumably quite correct, but out software
> fails to rely upon that information, this is *still* a
> "cart-before-the-horse" approach. It would be fine to have a
> "list of favorite satellites" mode of operation, so long as
> you ALSO have a "show me everything brighter than Magnitude X"
> mode.

What program are you using?  
My software will do either one. And, using Word Perfect, I can get a combined
list of both!

Jay Respler
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