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Articles on Satellites

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Lining up potential pitfalls: nonexperts and computers may misinterpret the vertical line in this image as a natural feature rather than a result of a mosaic compilation of multiple satellite images. Google Earth

In sea of satellite images, experts’ eyes still needed

Expert image analysts have an important role to play, even in an age of computer interpretation and crowdsourcing.
Nowcasting is a system using satellite images to obtain real-time information before bad weather arrives. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

How satellites are helping Africa improve weather forecasts

Being able to predict the weather can save lives. Using new technology forecasters are able to provide realtime warning of bad weather ahead.
Space endeavours require capital. And for most African countries, capital is a limited commodity. EPA/Samantha Cristoforetti

Africa and space: the continent starts to look skyward

Many do not associate Africa with the high-tech sphere of "space". However, in recent years, many countries on the continent have woken up to the potential and usefulness of space technology.
Progress M27-M will meet the same fate as the European Space Agency’s Jules Verne Automated Transfer Vehicle which broke up on re-entry back in 2008 after a sucesful supply mission to the International Space Station. NASA/ESA/Bill Moede and Jesse Carpenter

A Russian spacecraft is heading for a fiery demise

After a failed mission to restock the International Space Station, the Russian Progress M-27M spacecraft is set to burn up as it spins back to Earth.
An artist’s concept of two NASA Earth-orbiting cube satellites with a typical volume of just one litre (10cm x 10cm x 10cm). NASA/JPL-Caltech

Space treaties are a challenge to launching small satellites in orbit

We're already building satellites that can sit in the palm of your hand. But getting them into orbit can be a challneg, and not only for technical reasons.
A US Chinook similar to the one involved in the gun battle of Takur Ghar. Flickr/The U S Army

Bad space weather may have caused fatal Afghan gun battle

Three American soldiers* may have died in Afghanistan’s battle of Takur Ghar because of disruptions caused by plasma bubbles – a form of space weather – according to a new study. Space weather is normally…
Our moon orbits the Earth in the same way satellites do. Flickr/Alexey Kljatov

Explainer: how do satellites orbit the Earth?

Take a look at the moon and it isn’t hard to imagine it as a planet. A 3,476 kilometres-in-diameter ball of rock, with basalt plains and mountain ranges, whose gravitational pull produces tides here on…

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