Yet another introduction...

From: Daniel Crawford (
Date: Wed Dec 19 2001 - 06:26:05 EST

  • Next message: Daniel Crawford: "Re: Yet another introduction..."

    I subscribed to this list a few weeks ago, and when I did, I was requested
    to give an introduction.
    Well, I put that off for a bit just to make sure that you folks were
    friendly.  Since I am writing this, I think that this email will be received
    in a good way.
    My name is Daniel, I live in Coon Rapids, Minnesota.  I am a Unix Systems
    administrator by trade (and teach it on occasion) but also enjoy looking up
    at night and realizing how small I really am.
    My first encounter with satellite viewing was in 1976.  My brother and I
    were watching a meteor shower and noticed a moving object going across the
    sky.  What interested us the most is that while watching it, it just
    disappeared.    We had no clue what it was, but knew that it wasn’t an
    airplane.   We had no clue on why it would just disappear, but it did.
    After a bunch of debates (well, I was only 7 at the time) we figured it was
    a satellite.  I only discovered why it disappeared (into the shadow) about a
    month ago.  It had been on my mind that all that time..  Since that night
    and others,  I have observed many more, but had no clue that you could
    actually track them. (why would I have known?)
    Though I know that I am no expert, I have been trying with limited success
    at tracking these things that go round and round the earth.  To be honest, I
    have been less successful than I had wished.
    This brings me to my newbie questions….
    First of all, I use a few programs to help me with sightings.  I compare
    that data with the heavens above site and try to figure out when and where I
    should be looking.  I have noticed that magnitudes are most often different
    depending on the software you use or the Web page that you may use to do
    forecasts… Why is that?  What is the difference?  Is there somewhere that I
    can go (meaning web site) that I can learn about  the raw data and perform
    the calculations by myself?  Just wondering…
    Another question concerned the TLE’s of Starshine 2.  It took quite a bit of
    time for these to come out.  What goes into figuring out this stuff?  Just
    point me to a website if you can.
    Last but not least, how can I help?
    I have a bunch more questions, but if somebody would guide me to a really
    good FAQ or some other resource to use to help me answer my questions,
    Thanks to all of you for your contributions into something that interests me
    personally, without it having to be my career.
    Daniel Crawford
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