New Observer

From: timothy luton (
Date: Thu Feb 14 2008 - 02:45:45 UTC

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    Hi everybody,
    I've been an astronomy fan for about 30 years and a
    ship's navigator practicing the dying art of celestial
    navigation for the last 25. 
    Started getting interested in observing satellites
    after watching an Atlas V launch at the cape a couple
    years back and then sighing the centaur and payload
    the following night using Orbitron predictions. Caught
    sight of the fuel dump on USA 198 in December and that
    got me hooked. My wife and I have been out just about
    every clear night since. She's actually better at
    sighting the satellites coming over the tree line than
    me. I'm coming up on retirement in the next few years
    and we've decided that this will be our new joint
    hobby as we start getting gray. 
    We live along the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia, USA
    (36.8N 076.5W), moderate light pollution from Norfolk
    but on average I can still get +4mag with the naked
    eye and +6 with binoculars. I have been looking at
    some of the setup and would like to go with something
    like Scott Campbell is using.
    Really interested in find USA 195 (WGS SV-1) but not
    sure exactly how to start searching or if I would even
    be able to see it being located at 76 degrees West
    longitude. I had read somewhere that it was thought to
     be somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean. Seems like my
    field of sky would get me over to the Prime meridian
    but with so many GSO sat's, not sure if I could ID it
    if I did image it.
    Anyways, hope to learn a lot from you all and become a
    useful observer.
    Tim Luton
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