Re: Bright sat list / software

Don Horton (
Mon, 16 Dec 1996 14:30:41 -0500

At 08:22 AM 12/16/96 -0800, Robert Shaeffer wrote:

>The program will tell me what's visible IF I tell it in advance which
>satellites I want to observe.

        ...or you can load up one of those large elsets (like Ted Molczan's
8100+) and get a list of just about everything that might come by.  Then
turn your printer on and go have dinner.  It should be about finiched
printing when you get back.    ;-)

>I should thank that the program, given a correct elements file, could
>tell me "what's up there" without any guidance beyond that of brightness
>and elevation. Why is a separate satellite list REQUIRED?

        To avoid the pitfall mentioned above.

>What if there's a bright satellite that I don't know about, but might
>be visible anyway? What if something new got launched, and I didn't
>update my list?

        Short of the gift of omniscience, or a direct pipeline to NORAD, I
can't help you there.  You've reached the point of wanting egg in your beer.

>But people are ALREADY DOING this in constructing the elements list.
>Now, given that we ALREADY HAVE the elements list, why is it necessary
>for many people to duplicate the effort by maintaining an up-to-date
>list of satellites?

        In my case, it's for the sher pleasure of it.  I can't speak for
anyone else, though.

>I have no problem with running a "short list" of satellites sometimes
>(I do that, too) so long as you can also run a "complete list".

        See my first paragraph....

>ONLY if you already put the satellite on your list of ones that you want to

        Again, see my first paragraph...

>So, you need to go into your word processor to duplicate the work that
>Ted Molczan and others have already done in compiling the elements

        Only to modify it for personal use.  Not all of us are into instant
gratification.  We're willing to do a bit of work to get the results we want
or need!


                      Don Horton              N1ISB

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