Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Track satellites on your iPhone/iPod Touch

I just came across a program for Apple's iPhone/iPod for tracking satellites (thanks Robert!). I often make attempts to image the ISS as it passes over my house in Renton, but I check on Heavens-above website for the best info on the passes. This program does all that too, and had a sky diagram showing where it will show up. It is $9.99 for the download (amazing how rich some programmers are getting with these little applications that are popular.) and just takes a few moments before it's ready to run.
It does all the same things that the Heaven-above tracking does, but simpler. The only thing I see missing is the star chart on the sky passes, that is a handy thing to have so you can get a quick idea of where it will pass in reference to the stars. That could be in a future update I think, these little devices are amazing with the amount of power they have in such a small package!
As a bonus, there is also tracking for Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper's tool bag that she dropped while working on the ISS! Must be embarrassing, but possibly kind of a proud feeling to know that your lost bag with an expensive grease gun is tracked by many amatuer astronomers now.

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