Stuff in Space

Stuff in Space is a “real-time 3D map of objects in earth’s orbit”, including satellites and debris. This map uses data from, a website operated by the U.S. Department of Defense. On this map, different kinds of “stuff in space” are color-coded: red for satellites, blue for rocket bodies, and grey for debris. Visitors may also explore different groups of space objects, which include maps of all Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites and their orbits and a map of the debris created by the 2009 collision of the satellites Iridium 33 and Kosmos 2251.  Check it out!


Cities at Night

Astronauts on board the International Space Station (ISS) take hundreds of night-time pictures each year of cities around the globe. Cities at Night is a “citizen science project that aims to create a map, similar to Google maps, of the Earth at night using night-time color photographs taken by astronauts onboard the ISS.” Check out the photographs that have been geo-referenced to the Earth, or join in and help the project team geo-reference new photographs!


Send Your Name to the Sun

In celebration of the summer 2018 launch of the Parker Solar Probe, NASA is inviting the public to submit their names to be added to a microchip which will be placed onboard the spacecraft.

Read more about it on Geo Lounge (click image below), which also has a link to the site for you to register your name.  But hurry, you must submit your name by April 27, 2018!


Tracking the Falling Chinese Space Station

The Chinese space station Tiangong-1 was launched in 2011.  It stopped communicating with ground control back in March 2016.  With no way to bring it down into a controlled descent, it is now slowly falling closer to Earth’s atmosphere.  Scientists have only been able to wait for its orbit to decay and now it’s expected to tumble to the ground or ocean in the next few days.

Both amateurs and government agencies are trying to figure out where and when it will arrive.  Some sites like SatView are running live streams of Tiangong-1’s current location and predict where it might fall to Earth.

The most current prediction at the time of this writing is Monday April 2 at 01:05 UTC.  Check it out!


New California Mapping

Bella Terra Publishing.  California, Hawaii lighthouses: illustrated map & guide, includes Lake Havasu & Lake Tahoe.  1 map, scale 1:1,550,000.  Rhinebeck, NY: Bella Terra Publishing, pub. 2016.  ISBN: 9781888216400

Benchmark Maps (Firm).  California road & recreation atlas.  1 atlas (141 pages), scales differ.  Santa Barbara, Calif.: Benchmark Maps, pub, 2017.  ISBN: 9780929591490

Carapella, Aaron.  Tribal nations of California.  1 map, scale not given.  Warner, Okla.: Tribal Nations Maps, pub. 2017.

Farkov, Emanouil.  That’s amazing!: Huell Howser visits California’s landmarks.  1 map, scale not given.  Los Angeles: Automobile Club of Southern California, pub. 2016.

U.S. Bureau of Land Management, El Centro Field Office.  BLM routes of travel for eastern Imperial County, California.  1 map, scale ca. 1:125,000.  El Centro, Calif.: U.S. Bureau of Land Management, pub. 2017.

U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region.  Six Rivers National Forest, California.  1 map, scale ca. 1:126,720.  [Vallejo, Calif.]: U.S. Forest Service, minor revision 2017.  ISBN: 9781628114256

U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region.  Stanislaus National Forest, California.  1 map, scale 1:126,720.  [Vallejo, Calif.]: U.S. Forest Service, pub. 2017.  ISBN: 9781628114126

U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region.   Trinity Alps Wilderness, Shasta-Trinity, Klamath & Six Rivers National Forests, California.  1 map, scale 1:63,360.  Vallejo, Calif.: U.S. Forest Service, minor revision 2017.  ISBN: 9781628114232

Wine Road (Association).  Wine road, northern Sonoma County.  1 map, scale approximately 1:140,000.  Healdsburg, Calif.: Wine Road Northern Sonoma County, 2017.

CalTopo MapBuilder

CalTopo is a handy tool for hikers and those that like the great outdoors.  Besides having the USGS topos displayed as a background, it has been enhanced over last year so you can also overlay layers like slope shading, current fire activity and fire history, average sun exposure for a certain date and time, weather (temperature, precipitation, wind speed, and forecasts), and real time data (snow, water gauges, and weather stations), and other stuff!  Print out your map too and head for the hills!  Check it out.


Rare Total Lunar Eclipse Tomorrow

There will be a rare total lunar eclipse tomorrow … well not that the eclipse is rare, but it will be happening at the same time as the blue moon and supermoon, an event that has not happened in over 150 years.

In the LA area, you will need to get up early to see it.  The full eclipse begins 4:51am with the maximum at 5:29am:



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