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 Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form
18.08.2017 | Cornell University

nachricht Astrophysicists explain the mysterious behavior of cosmic rays
18.08.2017 | Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology

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: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New bioimaging technique is fast and economical

21.08.2017 | Medical Engineering

Silk could improve sensitivity, flexibility of wearable body sensors

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections

21.08.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>