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Knee Deep in Satellite Debris

March 1st, 2009

Click to view the live satellite debris tracker

A quick update on the Google Earth browser plugin based tracker displaying the debris from the collision between the Iridium 33 and Cosmos 2251 satellites on February 10th.

I mentioned the possibility that the number of fragments tracked in the Norad orbtial elements might increase. Well they have. Threefold over the past week, from 134 up to 406.

Remarkably the application still smoothly animates all objects in real time, even on my single core PC, but inevitiably it sucks up more processing power. You may find it now lags on an old machine or slower browser. If the number increases further I may have to either cap the number displayed or ditch the smooth animation.

Anyway, click on the image above to see it in action.

Related: Here’s a neat simulation from Analytical Graphics which includes a statistical break-up model of the satellites immediately after impact.

Related posts:

  1. Satellite Collision Debris Tracking in the Google Earth Plug-in
  2. Space Crash, Update
  3. When two satellites collide, in Google Earth

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