Moonwatch

Moonwatch

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In Brief:

Observatories involved:
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Instruments:
Askania PhotometerKinetheodolite;
49 or more apogee telescopes

Duration:

Publication:

 


Description:

Description:

History:

History:With the advent of space travel, new technologies had to be created. Satellite tracking was in its beginning stages and a lot of emphasis was placed on visual tracking. To this end, the American Space Agency NASA invested heavily on creating and equipping visual observational sights around the world. Some months before the launching of the first artificial satellites, teams of observers were organised in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Bloemfontein, and Cape Town. Special apogee telescopes were loaned to the teams and at one time there were 49 telescopes in the Royal Observatory grounds.
The Cape Town team was initially under the leadership of Mr Hirst and later Mr Hurley.
The moonwatch team made the first sighting of the first American Satellite, 1958alpha, outside of America.

Sources:

Bibliography: -Laing, J.D. (ed.), The Royal Observatory at the Cape of Good Hope 1820 – 1970 Sesquicentennial Offerings, pp.33 – 34.

Links:

 

Gallery

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The Moonwatch team in action.
Source: A.S.S.A. Symposium 2002: Paper 21 Young: Touching History; Jack Bennett – a link to the past.

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