Re: significantly different predictions by different programs

From: Ed Cannon (
Date: Mon Oct 30 2006 - 21:51:06 EST

  • Next message: Steve Newcomb: "8539 obs Oct 31"

    Okay, here's a explanatory follow-up and an apology to all.
    I received a report that an object was seen flashing at about 
    10:45 UTC on October 28, with a sky location indicated on a
    sky image.  Findsat said the best candidate was ETS 6, and 
    Highfly gave predictions for a matching RA and Dec (not far 
    southwest of Procyon) at that time.  But then I received 
    follow-up indicating that Heavensat and Orbitron put ETS 6 
    at a very different RA and Dec than where Highfly said.  It 
    turns out that this other position was where ETS 6 was at 
    11:45 UTC instead of 10:45 UTC.  So, this would appear to be 
    a case of a one-hour time-zone conversion error by a user 
    rather than programs producing different predictions.  
    So I owe everyone -- especially the programmers of the two
    programs! -- an apology for raising the issue of possible 
    program prediction errors by Heavensat and Orbitron where 
    there were none.  It does seem that what Mike wrote about 
    the Heavensat display possibly being confusing could still 
    be a consideration.  But again, I was not meaning to 
    criticize but just to point out the possibility that some
    people might be missing objects they wanted to see.  
    Clearly most programs are designed primarily for LEOs, 
    which are only for the sky for a few minutes, not for many 
    hours like high-altitude objects are.
    Ed Cannon - Austin, Texas, USA
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