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Watchers in U.S. Midwest sight Sputnik

By
United Press
UPI Photo/NASA/FILES
UPI Photo/NASA/FILES | License Photo

The Russian satellite was seen speeding over various parts of the United States Friday night.

The first report came from Columbus, Ohio, where Moonwatcher Larry Ochs saw the satellite. At almost the same time, it was spotted in Terre Haute, Ind.

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The satellite turned up later in other areas of the country. It was reported as far west as San Francisco.

Ochs, stationed at one of the 150 Moonwatch stations set up throughout the world in connection with the International Geophysical Year, said he was sighting through a refractor telescope. He described the "moon" as "sort of yellowish in color."

He said, "It was too small to tell any shape."

Slightly over an hour and a half after Ochs' sighting, another Moonwatcher reported the satellite sailing over Columbus again.

Ochs said a steady light took 24 seconds to cross his telescope. His report was received here at 11:48 p.m. (EDT).

Ochs said he spotted the brilliant glow at 10:28:51 and that it flashed across his lens in an easterly direction.

He estimated the light to be of the sixth magnitude and said it was traveling from west to east going 30 degrees south of east.

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Ochs' report of the satellite sighting was followed by a second from Terre Haute, where Nunz Addabbo said he saw a light passing from northwest to southeast at 10:28 p.m.

A total of 150 Moonwatch observation stations, set up previously in connection with the International Geophysical Year, had been alerted to be on the lookout for man's first satellite.

The more than 40 operating Moonwatch stations west of the Mississippi river were alerted first because they were the nearest American points in the band of twilight. The satellite is most easily observed in the reflected light of the setting or rising sun.

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