Thursday, March 10, 2011

Amateur sky-watcher day

Today, I spotted two interesting stories about the cosmic beings known as amateur skywatchers (aka astronomers and sat-watchers).  The first comes from the Bayourat's Twitter stream via BoingBoing: Interview with Ted Molczan, citizen satellite sky tracker. Ted works from an urban setting using 25 X 100 binoculars, mounted on a tripod with fluid pan head, and a stopwatch with a 200 split time memory. He manually synchs to a high precision time signal. The article also notes that watcher Greg Roberts of Ted's group has found the X-37B OTV-2.

The second item I saw was yet another amazing photograph by Thierry Legault (found via Clark Lindsey).  His photo shows astronaut Steve Bowen on an EVA during the STS-133 mission. The photo includes an inset of the same scene taken from the  ISS (Discovery?).  This is the first time an astronaut in orbit has been imaged by a amateur ground telescope.  Pretty cool, eh?