Weather Blog

Weekly Time Waster: Track every satellite in orbit

Weekly Time Waster: Track every satellite in orbit
When science and technology collide, it can mean great things. The latest example is the subject of our weekly time waster.

Have you ever want to see every satellite in orbit? Thanks to a programmer at Analytical Graphics, now you can, using the power of Google Earth. The United States Strategic Command (or "USSTRATCOM" -- hey the government never met an acronym it didn't like), is a part of the U.S. military jointly commanded from Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, and one of their primary duties is to track all man-made and natural objects orbiting our planet.

Part of that mission is to make sure the Space Shuttle and International Space Station steers clear of any space junk.

But Matt Amato with Analytical Graphics, a company based in Exton, Pennsylvania, has taken all that data and converted it into a real time application that runs inside Google Earth.

(Now, if you haven't downloaded Google's free Google Earth software, that is the ultimate time waster but I highly recommend it. You can find that at earth.google.com.)

If you already have, or once you have Google Earth running, download the ".kmz" file from this blog site:

science.slashdot.org

It should automatically install this inside Google Earth and voila, you can see every satellite in real time, updated every 30 seconds.

(If you want to turn this off, just uncheck the "AGI" box under the Places tab on the left side.)

Happy satellite tracking!