The 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.
And 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
photo of Greg can be seen here). See here
and also here
to see Greg's very interesting notes about visual observing of
Greg's most recent visual satellite observing activities are reported
on Space.com at http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/090204-tw-satellite-sleuthing.html.
But some background first -- recent news reports tell of the DoD's
secret satellite DSP-F23 wandering out of control in Geostationary
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