Moonwatch Volunteers, 1965

ID: 96-960

Creator: Unknown

Form/Genre: Photographic print

Date: 1965

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 371, Box 4, Folder: December 1983

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Volunteer satellite trackers in Pretoria, South Africa, for Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory's Moonwatch Network, one of more than 100 teams worldwide. Volunteers used the "fence method" of observing the sky. Each observer covered a small, overlapping portion of a specific sky quadrant, and watches for the passage of the satellite in his telescope. The instrument used was the Moonwatch Apogee Scope, a 20 power telescope with a 5-inch objective lens. The Moonwatch teams backed up an optical network of 12 Baker-Nunn tracking cameras.


  • Operation Moonwatch
  • Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


Featured in TORCH, December 1983

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 371, Box 4, Folder: December 1983

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,



Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Observatories
  • Satellite Tracking Program
  • Telescopes
  • Volunteers


South Africa


  • Photographic print
  • Group, candid

ID Number


Physical description

Color: Black and White; Size: 10w x 8h; Type of Image: Group, candid; Medium: Photographic print

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