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Ever Wonder What Satellites Are Flying Above Your Head?

Ever Wonder What Satellites Are Flying Above Your Head?

By Astiles  on December 09, 2010

Have you ever wondered what might be flying above your head? Did you know that there are satellites flying above your head right now? There is a great resource available for you to learn about satellite technology.

Developed by AGI (a preferred parter of the Google Lunar X PRIZE) for the Android Phone, an app called "Satellite AR" provides an opportunity for students to learn about satellites in a virtual reality setting. All you have to do is point your phone’s camera to the sky, and small icons track the locations of various satellites. For many, a line indicates their projected path across the sky. Those flying in sunlight are labeled in yellow, and those in the shadow of the Earth or Moon, in blue.
This yellow and blue coloring is useful to casual observers who go out looking at the night sky for satellites. Typically, those in shadow (blue) are not visible at all, while satellites in Sun (yellow) may be visible even to the naked eye, depending on size, altitude, and other factors. The best time to spot satellites is often just after dusk or just before dawn, when the Earth’s shadow is at a steep enough angle from the observer’s point of view that the satellites above are still lit by direct sunlight. The app also contains a simple star map. The brightest 2000 stars are shown as white dots on the screen, to help the user align the app’s display with the sky above.

To learn more about this app, please visit the entire article posted by emackey on the AGI Blog.

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