Skip to main content

Image / Pinpoint Moonwatch site

Have a question about this item?

Item information. View source record on contributor's website.

Pinpoint Moonwatch site
Alternative Title
Valley Times Photo Collection;
This project was supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian
Made accessible through a grant from the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation and Photo Friends
Date Created and/or Issued
Contributing Institution
Los Angeles Public Library
Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
Rights Information
Images available for reproduction and use. Please see the Ordering & Use page at for additional information.
Operation Moonwatch, also known as Project Moonwatch or simply Moonwatch, was an amateur science program initiated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) in 1956. The goal was to enlist the aid of amateur astronomers who would help professional scientists spot the first artificial satellites in space. Average citizens served on Moonwatch teams around the globe. Until professionally manned optical tracking stations came on-line in 1958, this network of amateur scientists played a critical role in providing crucial information regarding the world’s first satellites.
Photograph caption dated February 18, 1958 reads "Surveyors Harman Rasnow and Al Cocking check over data obtained from tellurometer to exactly located position of Woodland Hills Moonwatch station. To observers it is at 4443 San Blas Ave., but to surveyors and scientists plotting satellite orbits it is longitude 118 degrees, 35 minutes, 53.2008 seconds and latitude, 34 degrees, nine minutes, 5.9035 seconds. This 'fix,' obtained by microwaves, is size of pinhead." A tellurometer is a microwave electronic distance measurement device.
1 photographic print : b&w ; 26 x 21 cm.
Valley Times Collection;
Artificial satellites--Tracking
Astronautics--United States
Observation (Educational method)
Woodland Hills (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Time Period

About the collections in Calisphere

Learn more about the collections in Calisphere. View our statement on digital primary resources.

Copyright, permissions, and use

If you're wondering about permissions and what you can do with this item, a good starting point is the "rights information" on this page. See our terms of use for more tips.

Share your story

Has Calisphere helped you advance your research, complete a project, or find something meaningful? We'd love to hear about it; please send us a message.

Explore related content on Calisphere: