Re: ASTRO: recc.: Meade ETX-60AT Astro Telescope?

From: Brent Allsop (
Date: Wed Jan 10 2001 - 15:40:57 MST

Russell Whitaker <> asked about a
telescope that would:

> I'm primary interested in observing Earth's moon, Mars, our gas
> giants and their larger moons, NEO Eros, as well as some of the
> brighter stars (higher absolute magnitude) and galaxies.

        Another thing I'd like to see is the International Space
Station (ISS). I caught it the other night with a pair of binoculars
but still couldn't resolve anything other than a shaky (had troubles
holding the binoculars still) spot.

        I went to the local mall nature shop which had some impressive
looking Mead Telescopes. I asked if any of them could in any way
track the ISS. "Oh yeaaah!" was his response pointing to 3 of them,
which really surprised and excited me. But latter on he was saying
things like they couldn't track satellites, and that they would always
know where the ISS is (he apparently was unaware that the ISS has
thrusters and that it will use them to drastically change it's orbit
periodically.) At this point I felt it futile to try to educate this
obviously ignorant salesperson about things like the ISS is a
satellite... with thrusters...

        Anyway, my question is, are there any reasonably priced
telescopes (< $1000) which could some how find and track the ISS? One
that could also do what Russell wants to do? The NASA web sight gives
precise location predictions, it seems like it might be possible to
feed these into a good tracking computer and have it find it this
way, and then have some way to optically track it as it zooms across
the sky for a minute or two? Then again, maybe not? Can any
telescopes do this at any price?

                Brent Allsop

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:56:18 MDT