2007/10/24

Satellites (and Debris) in GoogleSky

A month ago or so, I wrote the code that uses TLE data to get the current location of Hubble, but why stop there? Josh Perlow, our STScI summer student did all the research work on what we needed and then we coded it! It was a lot of fun!

Recently, with the help of Bernie Shiao (a database expert at STScI with whom I worked with on the GALEX mission for Multimission Archive at Space Telescope), we set up a database that keeps the TLE data up to date for ALL objects with a NORAD-ID. As a test we simply plotted ALL the objects, debris included, orbiting our pale blue dot!

Next, Carol Christian is working on color coding object by type (debris, meteorological satellite, science satellites, etc.). We will likely deliver these subsets as a static kml, but the goal is to allow some object to be updated in real time, just like the "Where is Hubble now?" kml!

Stay tuned.