This website is hosted on Github Pages. The maps are produced with help from the following scripts and services:
The @WheresThatSat Twitter bot is written in Ruby and relies on the following libraries:
Last but not least, @WheresThatSat uses Ground Track Generator to calculate satellite locations and attributes.
Help make @WheresThatSat better. Bugs? Ideas? Let me know.
Made by Jim DeVona. I'm presently stationed on Spaceship Earth, but I'm available to work on other spacecraft systems, too. Send me an email.
Chatting with @WheresThatSat
Mention a satellite in a tweet to @WheresThatSat, and it will reply. Periodically it may report the location of other satellites as well.
Here's an example. I asked @WheresThatSat about the Hubble Space Telescope, and a few minutes later it replied:
Here is the list of satellites that @WheresThatSat knows about. If you mention multiple satellites, it will send multiple replies.
Maps and Details
The link that @WheresThatSat includes in each reply leads to a page containing a map of the satellite's recent position. It looks like this:
The map shows the satellite's path from a few minutes before you mentioned it (pinpointed by the green arrow) to a few minutes after @WhereThatSat replied (pinpointed by the purple arrow).
The sidebar gives details on each key point, including latitude and longitude as well as altitude and velocity (speed and heading).
If your tweets are tagged with a location, @WheresThatSat will also report whether the satellite was potentially visible from your location, based on three factors: whether the satellite is illuminated, whether it is above the horizon, and whether the sun is below the horizon. Other factors which may influence visibility that are not taken into account include weather, topography, and satellite size.
If you prefer not to add a location to all your tweets, or if you just want to know if a satellite was visible from some other place, you can use the special
#place hashtag to explicitly specify an observer location. Describe the location in quotes after the tag, like this:
Here's the response; GeoEye 1 was not visible from Herndon, VA.
@WheresThatSat understands many kinds of place descriptions, including street addresses, city names, and latitude/longitude coordinates. However, if the description is ambiguous, the intended location may be misinterpreted.
You can use the
#time tag to find out where a satellite was or will be at a specified time. Currently only relative times such as
#time "4 hours from now" or
#time "15 minutes ago" are understood.