Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Eyeing orbits from a new perspective - your PC

25.02.2003


Ever wonder where your favourite ESA Earth observation satellites are, right now?

Now that curiosity can be satisfied from your PC, thanks to ESA’s Satellites in Orbits website and the new addition of its Earth observation missions. The Earth Observation Orbits site displays real-time information and animations about the orbital tracks and current locations of ESA’s four Earth imaging satellites that were launched to help us better understand our own planet.

The interactive display includes a 3D model of the Earth and the ESA Earth observation satellites orbiting it, including:



ERS–1 and –2 satellites, ESA’s first spacecraft providing global measurements of earth’s atmospheric and surface properties using advanced microwave techniques. ERS-1, although still orbiting, was retired from service in 2000;

Envisat, Europe’s largest and most capable Earth observation satellite, launched last year with a suite of ten sensors to measure various aspects of the Earth’s atmosphere, ocean, land, and ice;

Proba, short for Project for On-Board Autonomy, a mini-satellite measuring only 60x60x80 cm to demonstrate advanced spacecraft and imagery technologies.

Perspectives on the sky and Earth

On the Orbits website the display, you control several interactive perspectives on the satellites with the capability of toggling between them. You can alter the time, rotate the view, zoom in and out, and learn more about the various satellites and their missions.

The "Earth View" offers a unique perspective on the Earth and the orbital tracks of the EO satellites, presented as if you were "standing" thousands of kilometres high in space and looking "down" on the Earth and the satellites below.

The perspective can be zoomed and rotated to create dazzling views of the Earth and outline clearly the areas of the globe visited by the Earth observation satellites. By “grabbing” the display with your mouse or using the controls on the display, you can rotate the view of the sky and zoom in on particular spots in the sky. By animating the display with the video controls you can watch the stately procession of the ESA spacecraft as they travel in a never-ending circle between the North and South Poles with the Earth rotating underneath them.

A "Sky View" shows the satellites that along with the Moon, planets and stars, are visible from any location on Earth. It also displays the Moon, planets and major stars that are visible or just below the horizon for a particular location, date and time.

By choosing the Location radio button, you can enter longitude and latitude settings, or pick from a drop-down list of selected world cities, for a glimpse of the visible sky from that location, including the orbital tracks and current location of the spacecraft.

Like the Earth View, you can move and rotate the display, as well as zoom in on particular spots in the sky. By entering date and time parameters, different sky views are presented and then animated by using VCR-type controls to see how the sky and satellite positions change over time.

The positions of the satellites are defined by two-line orbital element (TLE) data. The TLEs are provided by the North American Aerospace Defense Command, better known as NORAD, which tracks all manmade objects in space. The information is updated weekly, on average, to ensure that the satellite positions are as accurate as possible within a 40-day window, forward and back, from the time set on your computer.

For the best view of the site, you’ll need to have Java Virtual machine and the Flash Plug-in installed on your computer. If you don’t have these, you’ll see links for these add-ons.

Come and take a look if your favourite ESA Earth observation satellite is over your neighbourhood right now by visiting Earth Observation Orbits. Depending on your Internet connection, the applet could take a few moments to load.

Jolyon Martin | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/export/esaSA/SEM9B72A6BD_earth_0.html

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Comet or asteroid? Hubble discovers that a unique object is a binary
21.09.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht First users at European XFEL
21.09.2017 | European XFEL GmbH

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Comet or asteroid? Hubble discovers that a unique object is a binary

21.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Cnidarians remotely control bacteria

21.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Monitoring the heart's mitochondria to predict cardiac arrest?

21.09.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>