07/19/2005: Geek Playtoy of the Day
Orbitron is a satellite tracking system. Basically, if you're an amateur astronomer, or other person with an interest in knowing where just about Every Artificial Earth Satellite Ever Launched (and quite a few other orbiting objects, like rocket boosters) is at any given time, day or night, Orbitron is a must-have. You can "mark" your position on the world map (and, to make your life easier, there's an extensive list of cities and places, including Memphis!), and the program will give you a little sound alert whenever a satellite passes within "eyeshot" of your position (i.e., if you were outside, able to observe, and conditions were favorable, you could see the satellite in the sky from your position). It's interesting to run Orbitron in the background (say, during the workday), and see how many satellites pass by.
For example, as I write this (0607 CDT on Tuesday, July 19, 2005) one orbital object has just appeared on the western horizon (Delta 2 R/B(1)), and it will pass almost nearly overhead tracking almost due west to east, while in a few minutes (about 7-10 or so by my estimate) Informator 1 R/B will appear on the southern horizon and track almost due south to north, also passing nearly overhead.
Awesome. Then again, I'm easily amused.
Len on 07.19.05 @ 06:12 AM CST