[amsat-bb] Satellites in collision; Watching satellites gone astray: ZS1BI in the news

Tom Clark, K3IO tom.k3io at gmail.com
Thu Feb 12 20:49:44 PST 2009

The first amazing news
(http://www.space.com/news/090211-satellite-collision.html) is that the
Iridium-33 satellite was obliterated by a highly improbable collision
with long-dead Soviet Cosmos-2251 satellite ~800 km over Siberia.


Totally unrelated, except for the news appearing on Space.com:  one of
our old-time AMSATers is also in the news on Space.com. The Feb. 5th
edition carried a very interesting article on a long-time AMSAT
supporter, Greg Roberts, ZS1BI. For those of you who don't know Greg, an
interesting Hearsat "Ask The Expert" autobiographical (& how-to) article
can be found at  http://www.hearsat.org/content/ask-expert-greg-roberts.

For many years Greg was a well-known Variable Star Observer
affiliated with the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) in
Capetown and has been a very active amateur astronomer, well known for
his visual tracking of satellites. See here
<http://www.saao.ac.za/%7Ewgssa/as3/roberts.html> and also here
<http://www.saao.ac.za/%7Ewgssa/as4/greg.html> to see Greg's very
interesting notes about visual observing of satellites. A photo of Greg
can be seen here

Greg's most recent visual satellite observing activities are reported on
Space.com at
But first, some background -- recent news reports (like this report
<http://www.satnews.com/cgi-bin/story.cgi?number=252590162>) tell of 
the DoD's secret satellite DSP-F23 wandering out of control in
Geostationary orbit . The Feb.5 issue of Space.com  tells of Greg's
optical tracking of DSP-F23  as it flew near the European Astrium-1
constellation.  Click here to see  this spectacular video clip of the
F23 "flyby" produced thru Greg's efforts.
73 de Tom, K3IO

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