Friday, December 21, 2012

Visual CW Plans Thwarted by Moon

View of FITSAT-1's LEDs as observed by Prof. Jun-Ho Oh
of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.
(Courtesy FITSAT-1 website,
Plans to flash Morse code messages from the Japanese FITSAT-1 satellite have been delayed until early January due to moonlight! 

Controllers had hoped to send the visual Morse messages in mid-to-late December, but determined that waxing Moon (full on Dec. 28) would make the sky too bright for most people to be able to see the satellite. Other, earlier, attempts were cancelled due to cloudy conditions over the target areas. 

As of the time of this posting in mid-December, the plans are to begin the visual code messaging around January 7, 2013.