​​Satellite Spotting & Operations Handbook

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The Hubble Space Telescope is in a 37 degree inclined orbit. This is only visible within 40 degrees or so from the equator; not visible from the UK. I saw the launch by the shuttle Discovery back in April 1990.

Favourite targets

Prospero is the only satellite built and launched by the UK. The object is around 1mt across and its minimum altitude is 527 km. This is only visible in binoculars and telescopes, but is very rewarding for folk in the UK. This was launched in 1971 on a Black Arrow rocket at Woomera, Australia.

 The satellite is still transmitting data about the earth orbit environment. But as the quality of the information is poor compared to modern instruments in orbit, nobody is listening.  

I have managed to record Prospero passing over my garden. It's the second satellite seen in this clip recorded by accident...

Envisat is now out of service but will continue to be seen for years to come.