The world above us

This is every active satellite orbiting earth

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You are viewing the version published on Nov. 17, 2014
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There are more than 1,300 active satellites orbiting earth right now, taking pictures, broadcasting communication and navigation data, spying on you, even housing humans. Thanks to a database compiled by the Union of Concerned Scientists, we can show you each one as of Sept. 1, 2015, when it added 87 sats and removed 47.

There are more than 1,200 active satellites orbiting earth right now, taking pictures, broadcasting communication and navigation data, spying on you, even housing humans. Thanks to a database compiled by the Union of Concerned Scientists, we can show you each one as of Aug. 21, 2014.

The satellites are sized according to their launch mass and are colored by their

Name

Purpose

Purpose

Country

Country

Launch Date

Launch Date

Launch Vehicle

Launch Vehicle

Owner / Operator

Owner / Operator

Users

Types of users

Notes: This graphic excludes satellites no longer in use but still orbiting, and passive satellites. Weight depicted is the launch weight, which includes the satellites fuel. The official names of US military satellites listed as "Keyhole" in the database are not known to the UCS. Satellites classified as European are either owned/operated exclusively by the ESA or multiple european countries. The SB-WASS satellites weigh in excess of 5,000 kg but the UCS is unaware of their exact size.

Data: Union of Concerned Scientists, NASA, Zarya, N2YO.com, Claude Lafleur

Image: NASA/NOAA/GSFC/Suomi NPP/VIIRS/Norman Kuring

Easter egg: To see the relative speed of orbits (and possibly melt your browser), press Q and then the space bar. Currently: