Ohio man the first to spot Sputnik

LARRY OCHS, as told to the United Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 4, 1957 (UP) -- About seven of us moonwatchers had been alerted to watch for the Russian satellite tonight.

Radio signals from the satellite had been picked up by radio amateurs and others, and we first got the word from Dr. Allen Hynek, an official of the moonwatch, about 6 p.m. (EST).


We each had our telescopes trained in a different direction. Mine was a refractor telescope of about 5.79 power.

When I first saw the object, it appeared as a slowly moving point of light moving from west to east of a magnitude of about 5. The time was 10:28.51.

It had a sort of yellowish color and didn't show any appreciable diameter. It didn't seem to fluctuate any appreciable amount.

It was too small to tell if it had any shape.

I knew it was not a meteor because is traveled the entire length of the field and moved slower than a meteor moves. It took about three or four seconds to cross the field.

About an hour and 40 minutes later, Jane Gann, secretary of the Columbus Astronomical Society, reported a sighting and she verified it was a satellite.


We expect to stay here all night to keep a lookout for further sightings.

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