Real Time Satellite Tracking Via Google Mashup

REAL TIME SATELLITE TRACKING with N2YO is a really neat tool if you’re at all interested in space and the power of satellites.

Here is your opportunity to track one or more satellites, and learn all you can about each one.

First, check out all the satellites you can track in the different categories on N2YO’s main page.

At the next page choose which satellite you would like to “track.”

The map will refresh to show your chosen satellite. On the right will be a list of the satellite’s specs, like latitude, longitude, right ascension, declination, elevation, speed, etc.

For example, I clicked on Weather in the Popular Categories box towards the top of the page. Then I chose the NOAA-19 satellite and clicked “track” on the right hand side. The map refreshed and showed the location of the NOAA-19 satellite – over Papua New Guinea.

I went back to the page where I clicked “track” and clicked on the name of my chose satellite to learn more about it. Here’s the information I was given:

NORAD ID: 33591
Int’l Code: 2009-005A
Perigee: 853.5 km
Apogee: 872.9 km
Inclination: 98.7°
Period: 102.1 min
Launch date: February 6, 2009
Source: United States (US)
Comments: NOAA-19 is the fifth in a series of five Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellites (POES) with advanced microwave sounding instruments that provide imaging and sounding capabilities. Circling 530 statute miles [850 km] above Earth and completing a revolution every 100 minutes, the NOAA-N Prime will operate in the so-called “afternoon” polar orbit to replace NOAA-18 and its degraded instruments. The orbit crosses the equator from south to north at 2 p.m. on the trips around the planet. NOAA-N Prime is outfitted with instruments that provide imagery, atmospheric temperature and humidity profiles, and land and ocean surface temperature observations, all of which are key ingredients for weather forecasting. In addition, the information generates decades-long databases for climate monitoring and global change studies. In addition, the NOAA satellites are equipped with search and rescue packages that detect distress signals from emergency beacons. Over the past 26 years, the network has been credited with more than 24,000 rescues worldwide.

Pretty neat, huh?

Below the specs box on the right hand side on N2YO’s main page is an added bonus – through your IP address, the tracking system can pinpoint the latitude and longitude of your current location.

Also, at the bottom of the page there are news articles and the latest information on all the satellites currently in orbit.

The whole idea of satellites in space blows my mind, and being able to track them from the comfort of my own home is almost more excitement than I can handle. Almost. 🙂

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