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RPMiller
02-12-2009, 04:29 PM
This is an incredible "map" of the satellites orbiting Earth.

It is just a representation, but I thought it was good idea fodder. It is from NASA picture of the day.

Redrobes
02-12-2009, 04:39 PM
Try this one then...

http://science.nasa.gov/RealTime/jtrack/3d/JTrack3D.html

Hoel
02-12-2009, 05:34 PM
I didn't want to see this. Now I'm gonna go all paranoid.

RPMiller
02-12-2009, 05:39 PM
Try this one then...

http://science.nasa.gov/RealTime/jtrack/3d/JTrack3D.html
Only "problem" with that one is it doesn't show the debris or inoperative satellites. I'm guessing it doesn't show the ones with the lasers pointed at Sweden either. ;)

Ascension
02-12-2009, 05:44 PM
We, as a species, seem to have some sort of pathological drive to junk up everything...depressing. Cool in a way, but still sad in another. I'm with Hoel...I won't scratch myself for a month now cuz someone might be watching (and pointing lasers) :)

Nomadic
02-12-2009, 05:59 PM
Very nice. Of course you paranoid people do realize that 95% of those sats are commercial and scientific right? :P

Hoel
02-12-2009, 06:43 PM
I'm more afraid of big commercial interests then the good ol' Kingdom of Sweden watching my ass. SÄPO (swedish security service) would do a good job in an old keystone flick.
Did you know they actually let hard time convicts go on "R&R" here? They have two officers with them, but if they go home to a wife or girlfriend the officers stay outside?
One of our most famous spies escaped with his wife to USSR via finland on such an occasion.

Steel General
02-12-2009, 06:45 PM
That's a whole lotta "space junk"

Redrobes
02-12-2009, 06:53 PM
Very nice. Of course you paranoid people do realize that 95% of those sats are commercial and scientific right? :P

Ummm, I would think ALL of those sats are commercial. The ones that aren't are also not listed on that database.

Because amateur astro guys have some pretty impressive scopes and CCD's these days they tend to see the old spy sats. They are making many materials which are really black now. Really black as in virtually no light comes off of them in a wide spectrum. I saw only this week some researchers using a sort of fur made of nano tubes which have the same effect as moth eyeballs - the ultimate stealth creatures.

You should get a clear black night about an hour after end of sunset and look up. It takes just a few seconds to see commercial satellites all over the place. I have tried taking photos of the ISS tho and thats a whopper and I cant do it without making it look like a big streak.

RobA
02-12-2009, 10:42 PM
I've also read the criticism of that diagram's misrepresentation of data, specifically, while each dot represents one piece of debris, each dot (at the scale drawn) occupied 100's of kilometers square in space, leading one to feel we are enshrouded by debris.

-Rob A>

RPMiller
02-13-2009, 09:19 AM
Yup. I forgot to include the original link which is: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_1283.html

That mentions the scaling issue.

sambrookjm
02-13-2009, 05:53 PM
Anyone else of think of Wall-E when they saw that map?