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Watch Satellites Orbit The Earth In NASA Animation [Video]

NASA Satellite Video Still

NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio has created a new video in which the paths of 18 different Earth-observing satellites orbiting the Earth can be seen and CNET notes that the animated video certainly reminds us all of the fact that there are hundreds of satellites passing by over our heads as they orbit our planet.

The satellites, which are positioned roughly 400 miles above in low-Earth orbit, circle the planet once every 1.5 hours for a total of eight orbits every 12 hours.

Wired notes in a report that if you take a closer look at the video, you can see that the majority of the satellites are in a polar orbit, which means they’re traveling in the north-south direction.

The report also indicates that numerous NASA satellites are in a solar-synchronous polar orbit in which they positions remain fixed in relation to the sun, allowing them to study each spot on Earth at the same local time each and every single day. This means that you can look up into the sky around 1:30 p.m. local time and you’ll see a group of four satellites passing overhead.

The four satellites that you’ll see around 1:30 p.m. are known as Aqua, Aura, CALIPSO and CloudSat. These four satellites are dubbed the “A-Train” and they can be seen around the 00:07 marker in the video.

According to an animator who helped produce the video, Ernie Write at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, the A-Train satellites are equipped with 15 instruments and because they’re all focused on the same place at the same time, they essentially act “like one satellite with 15 instruments onboard”.

There are presently over 1,200 satellites in orbit around the planet according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

In other recent space coverage here on Immortal News, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft is now in orbit around Ceres after traveling 3.1 billion miles to reach the dwarf planet.

What are your thoughts on this animated video which portrays the orbital paths of various NASA satellites?

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