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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 worldâs first satellites. Photograph caption dated February 1, 1958 reads "Members of Pacific Rocket Society's Moonwatch Station in Woodland Hills scan through 15 telescopes which have been staggered on concrete platform to provide an 'optical fence' by which 120 degrees of sky can be watched in effort to catch pass of U.S. satellite. Clouds prevented sighting of satellite early today, but they expect success tonight."
1 photographic print : b&w ; 21 x 26 cm.
00155742 Valley Times Collection; HCNVT_d060_f8_i5 http://184.108.40.206/cdm/ref/collection/photos/id/128860
Pacific Rocket Society Men Women Artificial satellites--Tracking Astronautics--United States Observation (Educational method) Telescopes Woodland Hills (Los Angeles, Calif.) Night photographs