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.
Following on from my visualization of the satellite collision over Siberia on February 10th involving Iridium 33 and Cosmos 2251, here’s an Google Earth browser plugin based tracker for the debris from the crash.
The application loads up to date Norad orbital elements on start up, and propogates the orbits of all 134 fragments smoothly in real time.
I’m guessing the number of objects could increase over time as more wreckage is discovered. If that’s the case, just have to see how well it scales.
Use the time slider at the top of the screen to play the file back. The animation tracks the objects during the 6 minutes leading up to impact. Also included are the orbital paths (ground tracks) of the two objects between 16:00 and 17:00 GMT on February 10th.
Location data is based on the orbital elements for the two satellites, from Celestrak.