Re: Why do people look at satellites?

Date: Fri Sep 09 2011 - 14:50:47 UTC

  • Next message: "Re: Why do people look at satellites?"

    In a message dated 9/8/2011 4:35:49 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, writes:
    Just wondering, what's the reason some of you watch satellites,  work
    related?  Purely hobbiest?
    Back in the 1960's, the Hayden Planetarium in New York had a  telephone
    service called "Dial-a-Satellite" (TR-3-0404) in which you could call  each 
    day to get the
    latest details on the visible passes of the Echo  satellites.  I used to 
    ring up
    quite a phone bill sometimes in getting the details.  It was  quite 
    I can still remember, verbatim, the explanation leading  into the viewing 
    "Satellite information is based on calculations from the Smithsonian  
    Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Times are for the  satellite's 
    point of passage, but they may be seen for a few minutes both before  and 
    the times given."
    I also remember getting details on a barium cloud launch from  Wallops 
    Island in
    March 1967 from dialing that phone number.  And for about a  week
    in late October 1965, the satellite information was suspended in  favor of 
    viewing details for Comet Ikeya-Seki.  Dr. Thomas Nicholson  later wrote in 
    February 1966 issue of Natural History magazine that  while 
    Dial-a-Satellite usually
    received about 100 calls per day, during the week that the comet info  was 
    provided the number of calls shot up to about 1,000 per  day!
    -- joe rao    
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