Please Explain: Satellites

Friday, September 05, 2008

Please Explain is all about satellites – find out what they are, how they work, and what role they play in your everyday life – from cellphones to the weather report. Dr. Christopher Small is a geophysicist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University; Dr. Scott E. Palo is a satellite engineer and Associate Professor of Aerospace Engineering Sciences at UC Boulder.


Dr. Christopher Small

Comments [9]

Jenna from Jersey City

To follow up, there are communities on the internet that share satellite information.

Sep. 05 2008 01:53 PM
JT from Long Island

How much danger is the space shuttle in regarding the debris that orbits the earth? Will there be a point where it will be too dangerous to launch humans into space because of the clutter or will there always be enough space out there to get through?

Sep. 05 2008 01:48 PM
Jenna from Jersey City

I've read (in Wired) that private citizens have been profiled for tracking satellites in the sky. Basically they can't be hidden and people like Osama bin Landin can literally hide from spy satellites.

Sep. 05 2008 01:46 PM
A Fisher from LIC

If you look at the Nasa link above and select the "Satellites" menu option, you can view only amateur satellites.

Sep. 05 2008 01:42 PM
Darrick Grooms from Princeton, NJ

What about space junk, are our satellites safe?

Sep. 05 2008 01:39 PM
Caitlin from Brooklyn

Is anyone with the money to do so allowed to launch a satellite? Is there some sort of national/international regulation committee to keep them organized up there?

Sep. 05 2008 01:34 PM
A Fisher from LIC

This is a great real time link, java, to satellite orbits:

also there is a noteworthy satellite post at slashdot today:

Sep. 05 2008 01:31 PM

most geo sats are "parked" by the Equator

Sep. 05 2008 01:12 PM
AnnR from Andes, New York

if most satellites are geosynchronous, why can I see satellites moving across the night sky? I would think they would seem to stay in the same place which case I wouldnt notice them.

Sep. 05 2008 01:02 PM

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