Re: Equipment

From: Greg Roberts (
Date: Fri Jan 21 2000 - 04:32:42 PST

  • Next message: Ed Cannon: "TRMM elsets question"

    Goodmorning Ted,
    I am not familiar with C-SAT since I dont have the program but have heard
    about it. I see no reason why you shouldnt be able to spot satellites in
    your LX200 provided you meet certain requirements, the most important being
    use fresh elements and choose satellites in stable orbits. I have often seen
    predicted satellites using a 10 min arc field of view on a 20 inch reflector
    so there is no hidden magic involved.
    Re video for satellite tracking. I have done a little experimenting here and
    this is also practical. Using a low light level surveillance ccd camera
    (0.05 lux) and a 150mm telephoto lens with 2 inch aperture I have been able
    to observe satellites as faint as about magnitude 6.5. My sky naked eye
    limit is about magnitude 4 so gain quite a lot. Using a 5 inch
    refractor,operating at f/5 and working at the prime focus I have a field of
    view of about 24 arc minutes and with that I can see stars as faint as
    magnitude 9 and satellites about a magnitude brighter. Its also possible to
    video record the satellite as it crosses the field of view although my
    resultant AVI files are about 90 megabytes for about 30 seconds recording. I
    am currently adding stepper motors to my telescope altazimuth mount so that
    the telescope can be computer controlled from inside the house-Im using a
    system similar to that developed by Mel Bartels.
    Once this is completed I hope to do some video satellite tracking.Several
    computer programs , such as GUIDE, drive Mel Bartels system without problems
    so I am hoping I can use GUIDE to track on a satellite and output the
    bearings to the computer system. If this doesnt work then Ill have to write
    some software myself,but I see no reason why it cannot be reasonably easily
    done. ( famous last words ?:-)).
    Hope this encourages you to persevere further,
    Best wishes
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: <>
    To: <>
    Sent: Wednesday, January 19, 2000 6:51 PM
    Subject: Equipment
    > Hello,
    > I have a 8-inch LX200 (f/10) and C-Sat software from Celestial Computing.
    > After carefully setting my coordinates, time and aligning the LX200, I
    > haven't been able to "catch" a satellite in the field of view. Is anyone
    > using similar equipment?
    > What about video for satellite tracking? After reviewing Celestial
    > Computing's web site ( I was considering  buying an
    > AstroVid-1000 camera from Adirondack Video Astronomy company
    > ( But it may not be able to detect objects
    > the magnitudes of satellites. Has anybody tried it yet?
    > Is anyone getting satellite images using a CCD camera? Can the Autoguide
    > be used to lock-on to a satellite?
    > I realize that satellites move very fast and vary in magnitude while
    > being observed but that makes the challenge more  interesting to me. Just
    > want to know if I'm expecting too much from the equipment available to me.
    > Thanks.
    > Ted Pittman
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