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In this page you can track in real time all the satellites orbiting the Earth, with both 2D and 3D interactive representations, predict their passes, view their trajectory among stars on an interactive sky chart, predict satellite flares and transits (across the Sun and the Moon), find out the best location to see these events on a detailed Google map. You can also follow satellite re-entries and other special events, join the observer community, post messages and share your comments and observations. Currently in our database we have more than 9000 observation reports!. You won't find any other tracker that provides all these functions!

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ISS 3D POINTER NEWS: ISS 3D TRACKER/POINTER FOR MOBILE PHONES AVAILABLE

Do you want to observe the International Space Station crossing your sky?
Install our 3D tracker for Android devices and you have just to point your phone to the sky and follow the line to find the ISS. You can also track the Station 24 hours a day with a 3D view of the Earth, constellations and more than 15.000 stars. A simple count down will inform you when you can actually see the ISS with the naked eye. Visit this web page for more details or for downloading the App.




News from Space and Spaceflights


28/07/2015 - US safety officials on Tuesday accused the builders of a commercial space vehicle of failing to factor in human error that caused its disintegration over the Mojave Desert last year. The National Transportation Safety Board said the deadly crash could have been avoided if Scaled Composites, which built the vehicle for Virgin Galactic, had anticipated potential piloting mistakes and installed systems to avert the premature brake deployment that downed the SpaceShipTwo. The pilot was injured but s ... (source: spacedaily.com - more...)

27/07/2015 - SpaceX CEO and Chief Designer Elon Musk has ordered the installation of contingency abort software into all future Dragon cargo spacecraft, providing them with an option to deploy their parachutes after an off-nominal launch scenario. Such software may have allowed the CRS-7 Dragon to save herself after she was thrown free of the failing Falcon 9 during June’s ill-fated launch. (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

26/07/2015 - Ten years ago today, the Space Shuttle Discovery left the Kennedy Space Center on STS-114. The flight, filled with hopes, aspirations, and emotions, marked the first step in returning the Shuttle to flight following the loss of Columbia and marked the beginning of a new journey and vision for NASA. But getting to launch day for STS-114 was a difficult and safety-conscious endeavour. (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

25/07/2015 - China launched a new pair of navigation satellites in the move to advance the completion of the Phase III of its Beidou program. The launch took place at 12:29 UTC from the LC launch comple of the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, using for the first time the combination of the Long March-3B rocket with the new Expedition-1 (Yuanzheng-1) upper stage. (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

24/07/2015 - NASA's Kepler mission has confirmed the first near-Earth-size planet in the "habitable zone" around a sun-like star. This discovery and the introduction of 11 other new small habitable-zone candidate planets mark another milestone in the journey to finding another "Earth." The newly discovered Kepler-452b is the smallest planet to date discovered orbiting in the habitable zone - the area around a star where liquid water could pool on the surface of an orbiting planet - of a G2-type star, like our ... (source: spacedaily.com - more...)

23/07/2015 - Flying with an upgraded first stage, United Launch Alliance’s Delta IV rocket is targeting the deployment the seventh Wideband Global Satcom communications satellite on Thursday. Liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station was realigned to a 39-minute window, opening at 20:07 local time on Thursday – following the weather-related postponement of Wednesday’s opportunity. (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

22/07/2015 - A Russian Soyuz FG rocket successfully launched the Soyuz TMA-17M spacecraft on a six-hour launch-to-docking mission on Wednesday. Launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome occurred at 21:02 UTC, followed by a successful docking with NASA’s Kjell Lindgren of NASA, Oleg Kononenko of Roscosmos and Kimiya Yui of JAXA – despite the Plane 4 (Port) array failing to deploy en route, before finally deploying upon docking. (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

20/07/2015 - British cosmologist Stephen Hawking on Monday launched the biggest-ever search for intelligent extraterrestrial life in a $100-million (92-million-euro), 10-year project to scan the heavens. Russian Silicon Valley entrepreneur Yuri Milner, who is funding the Breakthrough Listen initiative, said it would be the most intensive scientific search ever undertaken for signs of alien civilisation. "In an infinite universe, there must be other occurrences of life," Hawking said at the launch event at th ... (source: spacedaily.com - more...)

20/07/2015 - SpaceX CEO and Chief Designer Elon Musk has updated the status of the investigation into the failure of the Falcon 9 rocket during its ill-fated CRS-7 Dragon mission. The preliminary findings point to a support strut in the Second Stage LOX tank breaking, releasing a helium pressurization bottle (Composite Overwrapped Pressure Vessel) that began the series of events that resulted in the loss of the vehicle. (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

16/07/2015 - Life aboard the International Space Station (ISS) has returned to normal after a late conjunction threat forced the Station’s crew into contingency operations. The implementation of Flight Rule B4-101 – resulting in the crew taking up the “safe haven” of a docked Russian Soyuz vehicle – was required during a close pass of debris from an old Russian weather satellite. (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

15/07/2015 - The United States Air Force is continuing to replenish its fleet of Global Positioning System navigation satellites Wednesday via the successful launch of the tenth Block IIF spacecraft atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. Liftoff from Cape Canaveral was on schedule at 11:36 local time (15:36 UTC) – at the start of a nineteen-minute window. (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

15/07/2015 - After a decade-long journey through our solar system, New Horizons made its closest approach to Pluto Tuesday, about 7,750 miles above the surface - roughly the same distance from New York to Mumbai, India - making it the first-ever space mission to explore a world so far from Earth. "I'm delighted at this latest accomplishment by NASA, another first that demonstrates once again how the United States leads the world in space," said John Holdren, assistant to the President for Science and Technolog ... (source: spacedaily.com - more...)

13/07/2015 - An unmanned NASA spacecraft hurtling into the unknown will make a close shave past Pluto on Tuesday, offering scientists a close glimpse of the dwarf planet's surface for the first time. But there were some jitters Monday as the $700 million spacecraft, called New Horizons, sped toward the last undiscovered frontier in the solar system. According to principal investigator Alan Stern, there is a one in 10,000 chance that the spacecraft could be lost in a collision with debris around Pluto, long c ... (source: spacedaily.com - more...)

11/07/2015 - It began as a point of light. Then, it evolved into a fuzzy orb. Now - in its latest portrait from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft - Pluto is being revealed as an intriguing new world with distinct surface features, including an immense dark band known as the "whale." As the newest black and white image from New Horizons' Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) appeared on the screen before members of the science team, they reacted with joy and delight, seeing Pluto as never before. There will be ... (source: spacedaily.com - more...)

10/07/2015 - The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) conducted its thirtieth flight on Friday evening local time, deploying five British satellites into a Sun-Synchronous orbit. Liftoff occurred at 21:58 local time (16:28 UTC) from the First Launch Pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre. (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

08/07/2015 - The Orion Service Module Umbilical (OSMU) has been installed on to the Launch Equipment Test Facility (LETF) at the Kennedy Space Center. The milestone marks the first umbilical to undergo testing ahead of being installed on the redesigned Mobile Launcher that will host the Space Launch System (SLS) for her maiden launch in 2018. (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

07/07/2015 - Astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) have a number of exercise options, including a mechanical bicycle bolted to the floor, a weightlifting machine strapped to the wall, and a strap-down treadmill. They spend a significant portion of each day working out to ward off the long-term effects of weightlessness, but many still suffer bone loss, muscle atrophy, and issues with balance and their cardiovascular systems. To counteract such debilitating effects, research groups around the worl ... (source: spacedaily.com - more...)

06/07/2015 - An international effort to work on the challenges associated with deep space communications is continuing on the ground, in space and underwater – with the upcoming NEEMO 20 mission set to simulate the time-delays associated with sending and receiving commands between controllers on Earth and astronauts on Mars. (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

03/07/2015 - The Soyuz-U carrier rocket with the Russian Progress-M28M cargo spacecraft has been launched from the Baikonur Space Center in Kazakhstan and is headed for the International Space Station (ISS), the Russian Mission Control outside Moscow said. "The estimated time of the transport cargo vessel's separation from the third stage of the launch vehicle and its entering the set orbit is July 3 08:04 Moscow time [05:04 GMT]," a mission control representative said. The Progress cargo vessel will dock wi ... (source: spacedaily.com - more...)

03/07/2015 - SpaceX is deep into an internal mishap investigation following the loss during First Stage flight of a Falcon 9 rocket with the CRS-7 Dragon. While the Second Stage is considered to be the main culprit for the failure, investigators are currently gathering data to reconstruct the final moments of Falcon 9’s flight as recovery teams attempt to retrieve the rocket’s remains to further aid the fault tree data. (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

02/07/2015 - A Russian Soyuz-U launch vehicle is tasked with lofting the Russian Progress M-28M cargo ship on a critical resupply run to the International Space Station (ISS) – with launch set for 04:55 GMT. The mission will return the Progress to flight following a previous failure that exacerbated the Station’s logistical constraints, further impacted by the recent CRS-7 failure. (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)
Follow the Launch with live streaming and the Online Tracker

27/06/2015 - SpaceX will launch its eighth Dragon resupply mission to the International Space Station Sunday, carrying cargo to that outpost including a docking adaptor for future manned missions. The first mission to the ISS since the failure of a Russian resupply mission in April, Dragon is scheduled to lift off from Cape Canaveral’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 10:21 local time (14:21 UTC). (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

26/06/2015 - SpaceX has conducted a Static Fire of its Falcon 9 v1.1 on Friday, a key milestone ahead of Sunday’s planned launch of the CRS-7/SpX-7 Dragon to the International Space Station (ISS). The mission will help restock the orbital outpost with vital supplies, highlighted by an investigation into high Total Organic Carbon (TOC) levels in the Station’s potable water. (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

25/06/2015 - In a paper accepted for publication in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics, the MIRO team present their first map of water vapour in the coma of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. MIRO, the Microwave Instrument for the Rosetta Orbiter, first detected the emission from water molecules in the coma of Comet 67P/C-G on 6 June 2014, when Rosetta was 350 000 km from the comet, approximately equivalent to the distance of the Earth from the Moon. At the time, the comet was 3.9 AU - about 580 million km - ... (source: spacedaily.com - more...)

23/06/2015 - A Russian Soyuz 2-1B launch vehicle has successfully launched with the third and possibly final Persona-1 reconnaissance satellite – also known as Kvarts – into space on Tuesday. The launch was conducted at 16:44 GMT from launch pad 43/4 at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia under the usual secrecy of a military launch. (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

22/06/2015 - Arianespace’s Vega rocket successfully completed her fifth launch, this time lofting the Sentinel-2A satellite – the latest spacecraft in Europe’s series of Earth observation satellites for the Copernicus initiative. Launch took place at 01:52 GMT (Tuesday) from launch pad ELA-1 at Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana – ahead of a smooth 55 minute ride to orbit. (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

18/06/2015 - SpaceX’s aspirations towards recovering launched Falcon 9 first stages are continuing to focus on ocean based landings, ahead of realizing the goal of returning the cores back to land. With continual refinements to the approach, SpaceX have welcomed new and improved Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ships (ASDS), one of which has been sighted taking a cruise down the Panama Canal. (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

17/06/2015 - An international Earth observation satellite has come to the end of its mission, after the power and attitude control system for the SAC-D spacecraft stopped working. Launched by the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta II rocket in 2011, the spacecraft was launched for Argentine space agency, CONAE – but also hosted NASA’s Aquarius instrument, which had achieved all of its primary mission goals late last year. (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

15/06/2015 - A long-serving Earth observation satellite has succumb to a fiery demise via an uncontrolled destructive re-entry on Tuesday. The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) spacecraft – a joint mission of NASA and JAXA – re-entered Earth’s atmosphere at 03:55 am UTC, according to the US Strategic Command s Joint Functional Component Command for Space. (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

14/06/2015 - The European space probe Philae woke up overnight after a months-long sleep as it hurtled towards towards the Sun on the back of a comet, the French space chief said Sunday. "We received new signals from (Philae) for a period of two minutes, as well as 40 seconds' worth of data," Jean-Yves Le Gall, president of the National Centre for Space Studies (CNES), told AFP. "Hello Earth! Can you hear me?" the tiny robot lab tweeted under the hashtag #WakeUpPhilae. Europe launched a new bid in ... (source: spacedaily.com - more...)

12/06/2015 - With three years to go until the debut launch of the Space Launch System (SLS), RS-25 engine E0525 conducted its third SLS-related firing this week, part of a test regime that is utilizing colder liquid oxygen temperatures and greater inlet pressures. A family of RS-25s – most of which are veterans from the Space Shuttle Program (SSP) – are preparing for one final role with the monster rocket. (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

11/06/2015 - Three astronauts landed in Kazakhstan on Thursday, safely returning to Earth after their flight back home was delayed for a month by a Russian rocket failure. Russia's Anton Shkaplerov, Italy's Samantha Cristoforetti and Terry Virts of the United States landed on schedule on the steppes of Kazakhstan and appeared to be in good health. Both Russian mission control and NASA reported no glitches, but Shkaplerov, the commander of the Soyuz spacecraft, said their landing was "hard and quick." "Fo ... (source: spacedaily.com - more...)

09/06/2015 - NASA’s key advisory body has heaped praise on the Agency’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP), claiming the “diversified portfolio” of its two major partners will satisfy the requirements of competition. The Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) believes it will provide a “blessing” to NASA when it faces a future decision of downselecting to one main provider of crew services to the International Space Station. (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

08/06/2015 - The International Space Station (ISS) conducted a Pre-Determined Debris Avoidance Maneuver (PDAM) on Monday, dodging part of a spent Minotaur rocket body. The space shove was provided by the engines on the docked Progress M-26M spacecraft, with the burn lasting over five minutes – in turn providing some light entertainment to the Station’s crew. (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

05/06/2015 - Russia has launched its Soyuz 2-1A rocket in a surprise mission from the Plesetsk cosmodrome at 15:24 UTC. The launch, using a rocket that recently failed during the Progress M-27M mission, was clouded under secrecy due to its payload, the Kobalt-M spy satellite – rumored to be the final film-return photo reconnaissance spacecraft. (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

04/06/2015 - What if your doctor told you that your weight is somewhere between 100 and 400 lbs.? With any ordinary scale every patient can do better at home. Yet, one patient can't: the Milky Way. Even though today we peer deeper into space than ever before, our home galaxy's weight is still unknown to about a factor of four. Researchers at Columbia University's Astronomy Department have now developed a new method to give the Milky Way a more precise physical checkup. The Milky Way consists of roughly 100 bil ... (source: spacedaily.com - more...)

04/06/2015 - NASA is exploring a shift toward the development of technologies for In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) – a development that could allow crews to make use of natural resources at their mission destinations – with a focus on crewed missions to Mars – instead of taking all needed supplies with them from Earth. (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

03/06/2015 - Chinese scientists are planning to launch a dark matter probe satellite by the end of this year, researchers with the project announced on Friday. The dark matter particle explorer (DAMPE) satellite will observe the direction, energy and electric charge of high-energy particles in space in search of dark matter, said Chang Jin, chief scientist of the project, at a press briefing held by the Shanghai Engineering Center for Microsatellites (SECM). All key components of the satellite have been tested ... (source: spacedaily.com - more...)

02/06/2015 - NASA’s Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) project will conduct a second test on Thursday, a major demonstration of technology that is being baselined into NASA’s ambitions for landing payloads on Mars. The test will be carried out at the US Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) on Kauai, Hawaii – beginning with a balloon ride to 120,000 feet. (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

01/06/2015 - As NASA continues development of its new heavy lift Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, testing of the vehicle s various launch support systems, including the all-important hydrogen burn-off system, or Radial Outward Firing Initiators (ROFIs), continue to progress SLS and its hardware toward a debut launch in 2018. (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

30/05/2015 - NASA’s transition from the Space Shuttle to the commercial crew vehicles will dramatically improve crew safety parameters relating to the transportation of astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). However, preparing for the worst is a necessary requirement that is currently being evaluated by NASA, per presentations to the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP). (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

28/05/2015 - The next NASA lander to touch down on the surface of Mars is picking up the pace ahead of its launch on an Atlas V rocket next March. The latest milestones saw the lander deploy its solar arrays inside a Denver clean room at Lockheed Martin, marking the completion of the lander’s assembly as it heads into a rigorous environmental test program. (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

28/05/2015 - The second test firing of RS-25 engine 0525 has taken place at the A-1 Test Stand at the Stennis Space Center. The developmental engine – that never got to fly with the Space Shuttle – is paving the way for the first four RS-25 engines that will help push the Space Launch System (SLS) uphill in 2018, with 16 of the engines now available following the construction of a new engine. (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

27/05/2015 - Arianespace has lofted another pair of satellites into space on Wednesday, with DirecTV-15 and SKY Mexico-1 set enjoying a ride uphill on the Ariane 5 rocket. Launch from the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana took place at the opening of what was nearly a one and a half hour long launch window, with T-0 occurring at 21:16 UTC. (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

26/05/2015 - NASA has selected nine out of 33 proposed instruments for inclusion in a proposed mission to the tantalizing Jovian moon known as Europa. With a primary goal of evaluating if the moon is habitable, the mission is now heading towards a Key Decision Point (KDP) to build towards “formalization”. Launching in the 2020s, the mission may be lofted by the Space Launch System (SLS). (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

26/05/2015 - Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and their supporting ground teams have begun the process of reconfiguring the station from its current Space Shuttle-optimised configuration, to a new configuration optimised for future visiting commercial crew and cargo vehicles. The long-planned effort involved the relocation of the PMM storage module on Wednesday. (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

25/05/2015 - A fleet of Russian spacecraft have completed an extensive search for ground impact points related to the recent failure of the International Launch Services (ILS) Proton rocket. Focusing on the estimated entry point for the Third Stage, Breeze-M Upper Stage and MexSat-1 satellite, Roscosmos said the fleet found no areas of interest, meaning no major hardware survived re-entry. (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

23/05/2015 - Physical changes to a number of historic pads located on Florida’s Space Coast are progressing apace, with Cape Canaveral’s SLC-41 now enjoying modification work to prepare it for crewed launches of Boeing’s CST-100. The work is being conducted at the same time as two nearby pads – LC39A and 39B – continue their conversations to host SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy and NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS). (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

21/05/2015 - SpaceX’s CRS-6 Dragon unberthed from the International Space Station (ISS) and was released from the grip of the Station’s “Big Arm” on Thursday. The resupply ship then completed homeward leg of her trouble-free orbital adventures, with a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean expected less than six hours after parting ways with the orbital outpost. (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

18/05/2015 - The orbit of the International Space Station (ISS) has been successfully reboosted by the Progress M-26M cargo vehicle on Monday, after aborting the first attempt. The initial reboost attempt occurred just hours before an unrelated Proton-M launch failed, as the Russian space agency struggles to overcome a string of failures that included the recent loss of the Progress M-27M vehicle. (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

16/05/2015 - International Launch Services (ILS) launched their Russian Proton-M rocket on Saturday, carrying the MexSat-1 (Centenario) communications satellite on what was supposed to be a multi-hour flight to its transfer orbit. Launch from Pad 39 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan was nominal, before the ascent suffered a third stage failure resulting in the loss of the mission. (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

13/05/2015 - Orbital ATK engineers have concluded a thorough examination of the Qualification Motor -1 (QM-1) following its Static Fire test in March. The motor performed as expected, providing a green light to proceed to the QM-2 Static Fire next spring – the final test that will confirm the five segment boosters are ready to fly with the Space Launch System (SLS). Casting of the QM-2 motor segments will take place over the summer. (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

12/05/2015 - The failure of the Progress M-27M cargo run to the International Space Station (ISS) was caused by issues with the Soyuz 2-1A third stage, Roscosmos announced on Tuesday. As expected, the resulting fallout of the failure has resulted in schedule changes on the Station’s arrivals and departures board, with the main impact felt by three crewmembers who will get to enjoy at least another month on the orbital outpost. (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

09/05/2015 - Can life survive for billions of years longer than the expected timeline on Earth? As scientists discover older and older solar systems, it's likely that before long we'll find an ancient planet in a habitable zone. Knowing if life is possible on this exoplanet would have immense implications for habitability and the development of ancient life, one researcher says. In January, a group led by Tiago Campante - an astroseismology or "starquake" researcher at the University of Birmingham in the Unite ... (source: spacedaily.com - more...)

08/05/2015 - A recent and famous image from deep space marks the first time we've seen a forming planetary system, according to a study by U of T astrophysicists. The team, led by Daniel Tamayo from the Centre for Planetary Science at U of T Scarborough and the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, found that circular gaps in a disk of dust and gas swirling around the young star HL Tau are in fact made by forming planets. "HL Tau likely represents the first image taken of the initial locations of pl ... (source: spacedaily.com - more...)

07/05/2015 - The doomed Progress M-27M resupply ship has met its fiery demise on Thursday night, following its problematic launch last week. In reaction to the loss, Russian planners are evaluating changes to the near-term schedule, including a slip of Soyuz TMA-15M landing’s to June 11-12, moving Progress M-28M’s launch up to the beginning of July, while Soyuz TMA-17M launch is likely to be delayed to the middle of July. (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

05/05/2015 - SpaceX’s Dragon 2 test vehicle will conduct her maiden flight on Wednesday, leaping off a truss structure under the power of eight SuperDraco engines. Known as the Pad Abort test, the objectives of the flight involve the gathering of key test data to help graduate the vehicle to be ready to carry NASA astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

01/05/2015 - As the Russians continue their evaluations into the failure of the Progress M27-M mission, the resupply vehicle has been spotted passing the International Space Station (ISS). The vehicle – still spinning out of control – is in an orbit that is no threat to the orbital outpost, with the main evaluations now focusing on where the spacecraft will deorbit in the coming days. (source: nasaspaceflight.com - more...)

Click here to track PROGRESS online



Visual SAT-Flare Tracker 3D - Online

Thank you for using Visual SAT-Flare Tracker Online
In this page you can track satellites in real time, predict passes and flares.
(the 3D desktop version is still available for download)

This page is interactive so you can change the time by means of the following keys:

[s] Increase time by 1 second
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More options and commands are available through the ADVANCED button.


Earth Map Legend

Red Line Satellite's Orbit projected on the ground
Blue Line Ground Flare Track (it represents the location where the reflection hits the ground, which is where the flare brightness reaches its maximum.
Green Line Reflected ray that hits the ground generating the flare.
Black Line Shadow ground track (it represents the location where the satellite can be seen crossing either the Sun disk or the Moon disk)

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Photo credit: Oleg Artemyev



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