Check Out a Real-Time Map of Objects in Earth’s Orbit

/ 1 year ago

3d earth orbit

Like the average computer desk, space is laced with debris. For every crumb lodged in your keyboard, one thousand times as many particles are currently in orbit around the Earth. With the wonderful 3D-visualised map, you can now watch the myriad or objects hurtling around our planet in real time.

The site uses live satellite data from Space Track, the US Department of Defense’s website designed to promote space flight safety and “protection of the space environment”. The site monitors space junk traffic in orbit around the planet, tracking all objects bigger than a tennis ball, excluding secret military satellites, sadly.

Though this data, tracks around 150,000 unique objects currently in orbit around the Earth and can show their position, movement, and trajectory in real time. Every object has its own identifier, so if you know the name of the object you’d wish to follow, simply type its name into the search box and the screen will zero in on it.

The beautiful visualisation suite was developed by 18-year-old James Yoder, a programmer and alumnus of FIRST Robotics, the lauded high school robotics competition. Yoder was driven by a desire to learn how to render 3D graphics and code using the JavaScript API, WebGL.

“Using those orbital parameters, uses a propagation model to predict the location of every satellite in real time, with an accuracy of within a few kilometers, and displays the data using a WebGL visualization with an accurate view of the Earth’s rotation and sunlight angle,” Yoder told Gizmodo.

Yoder will be studying electrical engineering at the University of Texas this Autumn.

Thank you Gizmodo for providing us with this information.

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