Thousands of Users Have Now Downloaded ISS Real-Time Tracker

Thousands of Users Have Now Downloaded ISS Real-Time Tracker

I’m so pleased that App Store downloads of my popular ISS Real-Time Tracker app are running in the thousands and increasing weekly.ISS iPhone Overlapping

ISS Real-Time Tracker is the only app that tracks the International Space Station in real-time on an interactive map, provides live HD video, predicts overhead passes, displays Landsat 8 images, gives crew data, all in one app.

Download it today:

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Spectacular Live HD Video of Earth From Space Now in ISS Real-Time Tracker 4 for iPhone & iPad

Spectacular Live HD Video of Earth From Space Now in ISS Real-Time Tracker 4 for iPhone & iPad

New ISS Real-Time Tracker 4 adds streaming HD video of Earth from the High Definition Earth Viewing Experiment aboard the International Space Station

I’m really excited to share this news! It’s about my biggest update to ISS Real-Time Tracker yet!

I’ve added a great new feature to my internationally popular ISS Real-Time Tracker app. In addition to its other features, the app now lets you watch live HD video of Earth from the International Space Station. The video is streamed from the High Definition Earth Viewing (HDEV) experiment aboard the ISS (see Facts About the HDEV Experiment, below).

HDEV Live Video Streamed From the International Space Station in ISS Real-Time Tracker 4
Live Video Streamed From the International Space Station in ISS Real-Time Tracker 4

While viewing the live video, ISS Real-Time Tracker continues its tracking of the ISS in the background. This lets you go switch between the map view and the HDEV view, so you can see the area, which the video corresponds to on the map. A future update will provide iPad and iPad Pro users with a split screen to view both at the same time.

Version 4 is a free update for ISS Real-Time Tracker users. If you don’t have the app, you can download it for only $1.99 (US).

Here’s What ISS Real-Time Tracker Does:

  • Tracks the current position of the ISS in real time on a moving map of Earth.
  • Looks up the most recent NASA Landsat 8 image of Earth at the current ISS location (where available) and lets you save the images to your photo library.
  • Checks for the amount of cloud cover in the Landsat 8 image and doesn’t display the image if it’s too high (this can be turned off in Settings).
  • Streams live HD video of the Earth from the High Definition Earth Viewing (HDEV) experiment on the ISS.

    FREE update to ISS Real-Time Tracker
    Free Update!
  • Predicts the times when the ISS will pass over your current location, along with the duration of each pass.
  • Select how many overhead pass predictions to compute (5/10/25/50/100).
  • Tap any overhead pass to create an event in your calendar.
  • Lists current ISS crew members with their stats.
  • Click on any crew member to see their full bios.
  • Selectable position marker.
  • Info overlay boxes can be turned on/off in settings.
  • Copy button, next to info box, allows you to copy Space Station’s current coordinates, altitude, velocity, and time stamp to your pasteboard and paste them in another app.
  • All user settings and zoom slider position are automatically saved when app closes and are restored when it opens.
  • Runs on iPhone, iPad, iPad Pro, and iPod touch in all orientations (requires iOS 9.3 and above).
  • Supports iOS 9 multitasking.

Facts About the HDEV Experiment
(courtesy of NASA)

The High Definition Earth Viewing (HDEV) experiment places four commercially available HD cameras on the exterior of the space station and uses them to stream live video of Earth for viewing online. The cameras are enclosed in a temperature specific housing and are exposed to the harsh radiation of space. Analysis of the effect of space on the video quality over the time HDEV is operational may help engineers decide which cameras are the best types to use on future missions. High school students helped design some of the cameras’ components through the High Schools United with NASA to Create Hardware (HUNCH) program. And, student teams operate the experiment.

Get ISS Real-Time Tracker on the App Store

ISS Real-Time Tracker 4 - Track the international space station in real time on your iPhone or iPad

Get International Space Station Crew Profiles & Key Information in ISS Real-Time Tracker 3

Get International Space Station Crew Profiles & Key Information in ISS Real-Time Tracker 3

New Release Adds Greatly Expanded Information About Current International Space Station Crew Members

I’ve just released version 3 of my popular iOS app for iPhone, iPad, iPad Pro, and iPod touch.

As before, ISS Real-Time Tracker provides a moving map that tracks the International Space Station in real time in its orbit around the Earth. The app also provides a list of 5 to 100 predicted overhead passes based on the user’s location, as well as displaying and saving Landsat 8 images of the exact spot below the Station’s current position.

The new version now gives the nationality, title, days in space, date of launch, and a complete bio of each International Space Station crew member! Here’s an example:

The data are always current and automatically updated whenever a new crew launches to the International Space Station.

And, as always, “see what five miles-per-second looks like on your iPhone!”

Get ISS Real-Time Tracker 3 on the App Store.

ISS Real-Time Tracker on the iPad Mini
ISS Real-Time Tracker on the iPad Mini

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The Speed of Light & American Cheese

The Speed of Light & American Cheese

Or Simple Ways to Solve Big Problems

Recently, it occurred to me that sometimes even really big sounding problems can often be solved simply and elegantly by using the tools at hand.

Some background

It took mankind thousands of years to discover the true nature of light and to determine how fast it traveled. Rene Descartes thought that it traveled infinitely fast and therefore could not be measured. Galileo first guessed that light travelled at least ten times faster than sound. In 1676, the Danish astronomer Ole Roemer was the first to measure the speed of light. He did it by timing the eclipses of Jupiter’s moon Io by Jupiter over many years as the distance between Earth and Jupiter varied. He calculated it to be around 200,000 km/s. Then, in 1862 Leon Foucault measured it really accurately at 299,796 km/s, incredibly close to today’s accepted value of 299,792.4574 km/s.

Here’s where the simple ways to solve big problems bit comes in

Did you know that you can calculate the speed of light using nothing more than your microwave oven and a piece of American cheese (or chocolate)? Here’s the equation we need:

c = f λ

It says the velocity of a light wave is equal to its frequency times its wavelength. The velocity of light has a special symbol, C. If we know the frequency and the wavelength, then we can determine C. Microwave ovens operate at a frequency of 2.45GHz to excite water and fat molecules in food. All we have to do now is measure the wavelength. Here’s where the American cheese comes in.

Cover a cardboard disk from a frozen pizza with slices of the cheese and microwave it at low power just until several melted spots appear. It can’t be rotating; so, if your oven has a carousel, prop the cardboard above it. Measure the distance (in meters) between the centers of the spots. That distance is half the wavelength of the light, so if you double it and multiply by 2.45 billion (the frequency in cycles per second), the result is the velocity of the rays bouncing about in your oven — the speed of light. Your answer should be fairly close to the actual speed of light: 299,792 km/s.

Save Landsat 8 Satellite Images to Your Photo Library & Track the International Space Station in Real-Time

Save Landsat 8 Satellite Images to Your Photo Library & Track the International Space Station in Real-Time

New feature in version 2 uses the NASA API to display a Landsat 8 image for the area below the International Space Station’s current location and save it to your Photos.

I’m happy to announce the release of version 2 of ISS Real-Time Tracker.

By popular request, in version 2, you can save a Landsat 8 image to your Photos.

ISS iPad Mini Vertical
ISS Real-Time Tracker on the iPad Mini

Using the NASA API, ISS Real-Time Tracker displays the latest Landsat 8 image corresponding to the International Space Station’s (ISS) current position.

When the ISS is over a land or coastal area, a Landsat 8 image will be displayed whenever you tap the map overlay button on the lower-left. Then, you can tap the save image icon to save it to Photo Library.

Sometimes, the Landsat 8 image may be poor, especially if the area was cloud-covered when the image was taken. Upon the next Landsat 8 image update a new image will be aquired. You’ll always get the latest image, good or bad. The image is really zoomed-in and covers a small scale of 0.025° in height and width.

You also get overhead pass predictions and can add any of them to your calendar as alerts! ISS Real-Time Tracker uses your current position anywhere in the world and generates a list of predicted passes that you may be able to view (depending upon your viewing conditions, light pollution, and obsructions). You can select 5, 10, 25, 50, or 100 up-coming passes to compute. Click on the binocular icon to generate the list or passes along with each pass’s duration in seconds. Click on any pass in the table and ISS Real-Time Tracker will create an event and add it to your iPhone or iPad calendar!

ISS Real-Time Tracker is a universal app that runs on iPhone, iPad, iPad Pro, and iPod touch and requires iOS 9.3 or higher.

Here are some screenshots from version 2.1:

Get ISS Real-Time Tracker on the App Store.

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NASA Has Identified Hottest Planet Yet Discovered

NASA Has Identified Hottest Planet Yet Discovered

Kepler-70b is really, really hot!

NASA’s incredible Kepler space telescope has discovered 1,032 confirmed exoplanets and another 4,696 candidates.

Among those confirmed exoplanets, Kepler-70b has the highest planetary temperature ever observed at 12,398 °F (6,870 ºC / 7,143 K). Kepler-70b passes very close to its star, Kepler-70. So, close, in fact, that the planet completes one orbit around its star in just 5.76 hours, one of the shortest orbital periods of any exoplanetary system yet discovered. So, one year on the planet is only 5.76 hours long! That’s why it’s so hot!

Want to know more interesting temperatures in astronomy, physics, biology, earth science, cooking, and more? Download my app TempVerter DB on the App Store and you’ll get:

  • A temperature converter that converts to and from Celsius, Fahrenheit, and Kelvin.Simulator Screen Shot Jan 8, 2016, 5.23.15 PM
  • Instantly converts temperatures on the fly as you enter them.
  • Reference database includes 216 entries.
  • Copy button copies temperature values to the pasteboard for pasting into other app(s).
  • Full support for iOS 9 multitasking.
  • Each entry given in Celsius, Fahrenheit, and Kelvin.
  • Important temperatures in the fields of astronomy, biology, health, Earth science, physics, materials science, and more.
  • Cooking and food safety temperatures.
  • No ads.

Get TempVerter DB on the App Store!

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Do you know the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth?

Do you know the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth?

Or, how about the ideal temperature for baby’s bath?

TempVerter DB version 1.3.7 is now available on the App Store for iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

TempVerter DB on the App Store
TempVerter DB on the iPhone 6s.

TempVerter DB converts temperatures that you enter in either Fahrenheit, Celsius, or Kelvin to the other two units instantly “on the fly” as you type. The app’s built-in temperature reference database includes over 205 entries, representing important and interesting temperatures in five categories: Astronomy, Biology, Cooking, Physics/Chemistry, and More (climate, Earth Science, general interest, and other).

TempVerter DB features a copy button which copies your conversions and database information to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch pasteboard. You can then paste the data into any app, including: Mail, Notes, Evernote, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Pages, and more.

Features

  • Instantly converts temperatures to and from Celsius, Fahrenheit, and Kelvin on the fly as you enter them.

    Simulator Screen Shot Nov 21, 2015, 3.12.45 PM
    Copy and paste into other apps”on the fly” as you type.
  • Copy button copies temperature values to the pasteboard for pasting into other app(s).
  • Complete support for iOS 9 multitasking.
  • Reference database includes over 205 entries.
  • Each entry given in Celsius, Fahrenheit, and Kelvin.
  • Important temperatures in the fields of astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology, health, Earth science, as well as climate and geology.
  • Cooking and food safety temperatures.
  • Materials science and other interesting temperature data.

Update to version 1.3.7 or get the app here:

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