Re: Bright sat list / software

Jim Varney (
Sun, 15 Dec 1996 22:50:10 -0800

Jay Respler wrote in reply to Robert Sheaffer:

>> 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.

No program is so smart... yet.

With the exponential advance in Web technology, it is possible for
a hot-dog HTML programmer to build a web page that has a Java or ActiveX app
that would do this.  It would go out and continuously grab the latest elements 
and would have all kinds of controls for the user to play with to tweak the 
output as desired.  With cookies it ought to be able to know, the second you
log on, what your lat, long, alt, and other preferences are -- a complete
user profile.  Included in that profile could be what kinds of new launches
you want in your personal elsets and predictions.

There are lots of satellite prediciton services on the Web now.  This would
be the next step.

The advantage over stand-alone programs is that it frees the user from the
chore of element-set updating.  The disadvantage is that the whole thing is
inaccessible if your Internet connection isn't working.  

 -- Jim

Jim Varney       | 121^ 23' 54" W,  38^ 27' 28" N   |           Sacramento, CA
Member, SeeSat-L |           Elev. 31 ft.           |                         
Member, Sacramento Valley Astronomical Society      |