Re: Look! What's that up in the Sky? Sputnik I 60 years ago10/07/17
posted by Paul Judge
Since Sputnik I was launched tens of thousand of satellites, parts of launch vehicles, and hundreds of thousands of byproduct debris now orbit Earth. If one spends any time away from artificial lights peering upward into a clear night sky they are almost certain to notice a few of those satellites passing overhead. Satellites course in a straight line absent any sound or the strobing red and white anti-collision lights typical of aircraft.
Here’s a link to a useful article by Carl Franzen in the July 8, 2015 issue of Popular Science,
“See All The Satellites And Space Junk Circling Earth In Real-Time Makes your junk drawer look manageable in comparison”
Franzen refers to James Yoder a young programmer who as a hobby created a website that tracks nearly all that’s up there and going around. This key refers to the various color-coded dots representing satellites (red), debris (gray), and discarded rocket bodies (blue) on his simulation “Stuff in Space”
If you’re interested in seeing the International Space Station (ISS) when it passes over your vicinity you can enter your location into this website and you’ll receive e-mail notification when the ISS will be visible in your neck of the woods.
To view live images of Earth from the ISS check this out:
This is exactly the stuff that my friends and I could only dream of when we were kids at the dawn of the “Space Age” (How’s that for nostalgic terminology?).